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U.S. House votes to repeal Obama's healthcare reform

07-12-2012 06:36 BJT

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 244-185 to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, but the effort faces almost certain doom in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The vote was the 33rd attempt by House Republicans to overturn the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. The vote was split mostly along party lines, but Republicans were joined by 5 Democrats, who face tough re-election battle.

The symbolic effort faces almost certain doom in the Senate, and the White House has issued a veto threat on the attempt.

The Republicans insisted that their vote were in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said they felt compelled to put members on record following the ruling, which said the individual mandate, the central part of the law which requires every American to buy health insurance or face a fine, is basically a tax.

"I introduced this legislation on behalf of my colleagues so that we may all be on record following the Supreme Court's decision, in order to show that the House rejects Obamacare, and that we are committed to taking this flawed law off the books," Cantor said during debate on the bill.

House Democrats have decried the vote and its two-day debate as a waste of time which could be better used on passing legislations to create jobs.

The vote came after Texas Governor Rick Perry on Monday rejected the expansion of Medicaid for his state, one of the major elements in the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid to cover everyone at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. The Supreme Court said states must have the option of opting out the expansion, the cost of which will be covered entirely by the federal government in the first few years.

Some conservative governors had been delaying implementation of the law until they knew how the Supreme Court would rule. Several governors have rejected the Medicaid expansion.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday urged state governors to participate in the Medicaid expansion.

Announcing a new round of meetings for state and federal officials to discuss implementation of the law, Sebelius wrote in a letter to governors that "now that the Supreme Court has issued a decision, we want to work with you to achieve our ultimate shared goal of ensuring that every American has access to affordable, quality health care."


Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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