Update: The House passed the legislation to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood by a 240-181 vote Wednesday evening.
After half-a-decade worth of votes to repeal Obamacare, congressional Republicans will finally send a bill that guts the President’s signature health care reform to the Oval Office, where President Obama is sure to veto it.
The House is set to vote Wednesday on an Obamacare repeal bill that will take apart some key aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual and employer mandates. The House passed a similar bill last year. But once it reached the Senate, Republicans expanded its parameters — including amendments that unravel the Medicaid expansion and target the marketplace subsidies — as conservatives said the initial legislation didn’t go far enough. Having passed narrowly in the Senate, it is now back in the House, where it kicks off Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) 2016 agenda “about ideas and not about distractions.”
The legislation also blocks federal funding to Planned Parenthood, keeping abortion and the Affordable Care Act on the front-burner heading into the 2016 election.
Republicans were only able to push this legislation through by using reconciliation, a complicated process that restricted what parts of Obamacare could be repealed (for instance, a reconciliation bill cannot add to the deficit) but one that only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate, thwarting a filibuster by Democrats.
However, the legislation hit some kinks in the upper chamber, where some Republicans resisted dismantling Medicaid expansion and other Obamacare programs that had been benefiting their constituents, while other more conservative senators insisted those programs be targeted in the bill. It passed 52-47 last month.
At the time, the White House issued its veto threat of the legislation.
“Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, Members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle‑class families, and create new jobs,” the veto threat said.