The House voted largely along party lines Tuesday to repeal and replace Obamacare, with Republicans vowing to satisfy midterm voters who demanded a new path forward while Democrats taunted their rivals as oblivious to the plight of the uninsured.
The 239-186 vote marked the Republican-majority Congress’ first swipe at the entire health law, cuing up a likely filibuster from Senate Democrats before President Obama can wield his veto pen.
While no Democrats defected from the party line, three Republicans voted against repeal — freshmen Reps. John Katko of New York and Bruce Poliquin of Maine, and Rep. Robert Dold of Illinois, who regained his seat after losing it in 2012.
While it will not become law, the measure was designed to let new Republicans to record their opposition to Obamacare and make good on the GOP’s campaign promise to go after the law and replace it.
“We are doing it because the American people have said, ‘We are tired of this.’ It is damaging health care,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, said.
House Republicans have moved to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, yet Tuesday’s bill ordered Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and other committee leaders to devise an alternative to President Obama’s reforms.