House Votes to Gut Obamacare Through Budget Process

The House voted Friday to scrap Obamacare’s most unpopular mandates and taxes, putting in motion a plan to dismantle the law through the budget process despite Democratic derision and conservative-driven complaints the bill doesn’t go far enough.

Lawmakers voted along party lines, 240-189, to also defund Planned Parenthood for one year as punishment for its controversial abortion practice, a part of the package that won praise from pro-life groups even as the conservative Heritage Foundation panned the legislation as woefully short of GOP promises to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The bill got through the House on the strength of Republican votes, however, with only seven GOP members rejecting it and one Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, voting “yes,” as he’s opposed Obamacare in the past.

Republican leaders are leveraging a tool known as budget reconciliation that would allow the bill to pass on a filibuster-proof basis in the Senate, so long as it meets arcane rules.

Already, Republican sponsors stripped out a provision that would repeal Obamacare’s yet-to-be-named board on Medicare spending, since the Senate parliamentarian was likely to rule it out of order.