House passes 50th bill to undo Obamacare
March 5th, 2014
05:43 PM ET
9 months ago

House passes 50th bill to undo Obamacare

(CNN) - The House on Wednesday passed another bill aimed at derailing Obamacare - the 50th time the GOP-led chamber has tried to repeal or alter President Barack Obama's signature health law in the past three years.

Obama joked last week ahead of the vote.

"You know what they say, '50th time is the charm.' Maybe when you hit your 50th repeal vote, you will win a prize," he said.

The Republican bill would suspend a penalty for individuals who fail to enroll in health care coverage by March 31. Those who don't purchase insurance of any kind by that time face a fine of $95 or 1% of their taxable income.

The measure was approved 260-160, with 27 Democrats joining all House Republicans but one to pass it.

"The President's outlined and protected big businesses from problems with Obamacare and mandates on Obamacare. It's time to provide the same kind of relief for American families," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters.

The administration has threatened to veto the measure, but it's not expected to go anywhere in the Democratic-led Senate.

Democrats mocked the latest GOP effort – even bringing posters to the House floor commemorating the "golden anniversary" of vote No. 50.

Republicans are making problems with the new health law the centerpiece of their midterm message, and Democrats said this latest vote was more about scoring political points than improving the law.

"This obsession that our House Republican colleagues have with repealing or undermining the Affordable Care Act goes beyond just a waste of time. It actually is harming the country," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra told reporters Wednesday.

Democrats defended the law and a series of changes that Obama has made on his own to delay some of its key provisions.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis compared Obamacare to a marriage, saying "any marriage takes effort," but pledged "50 votes to repeal it are not going to break up that marriage."

Polis also argued that Obama's reelection in 2012 determined that voters supported the health care law.

"The American people have voted on it. They didn't elect a presidential candidate that wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They didn't elect a Senate who wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act," he said.

But congressional Republicans, who unanimously voted against the law in 2010, are confident that the bumpy Obamacare rollout last fall and the various problems businesses say they are having now will be their ticket to expanding their House majority and retaking control of the Senate this year.

Backlash over passage of Obamacare in 2010 with no Republican support helped the GOP regain control of the House in that year's midterms.

Immediately after the President signed the bill, Republicans made "repeal and replace" their mantra in that election.

But since they gained the majority, there have only been votes – now tallying 50 - to roll back the law entirely or tweak some of its provisions.

At the House GOP retreat in January, Boehner told reporters it was important this year for his party to highlight their alternative solutions to problems.

House GOP leaders have pledged to hold a vote on a Republican proposal to replace Obamacare. A group of roughly 30 members has been meeting with top Republican leaders to draft that bill.

But there are some internal divisions about what that measure should include and aides and GOP lawmakers admit they are still trying to build consensus before scheduling any vote.

"There are wonderful things that can be done to put patients and families and doctors in charge and that's what we're pushing for and as broad as we can make that with a unified conference. That's where I think we ought to be heading," Rep Tom Price, a Georgia Republican and one of the members involved in crafting the GOP alternative, told CNN.

Price said the House could vote sometime before August on a bill that includes proposals such as selling insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, and reforming medical liability laws.


Filed under: House of Representatives • Obamacare
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Jan Nappylotto

    Obama continues to illegally push the deadlines back. Why bother having it in place at all?

    March 5, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. wendel

    what a waste of our tax dollars. Vote them all out except the one sensible democrat

    March 5, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  3. YoonYoungJo

    Please GOP, enough with the obamacare repeal. Go back to being what the GOP is about, being pro business but mix in some concern's, other then the concerns GOP has against Obamacare and its impact on families, concerns for the middle class. Its great to be pro business but you need to at least pretend to care about the middle class once in awhile. But attacking the obamacare penalty for middle class families only barely counts as being done for concern for the middle class. Pro business is not a bad mantra. Just can't be all business.

    March 5, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  4. Kevin

    At least someone is trying to get rid of this mess

    March 5, 2014 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Bmike

    Another waste of time GOP give it up will ya..lol it's comical now...all the problems around the world..and the repubs are still trying to derail healthcare..I mean Seriously that' all ya got....

    March 5, 2014 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Mr Dalloway

    Our government at work sad but true

    March 5, 2014 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  7. Regressive

    The definition of insanity comes to mind. Time to send the insane to an asylum and elect some sane individuals to do the work necessary to address issues facing our country.

    March 6, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. Doug

    50 times. I guess it's some kind of cheap high, wasting time and tax-payer money on impotent and meaningless symbolism.

    If you don't vote them out of your state offices, you deserve them, America.

    March 6, 2014 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  9. Thomas

    GOP , NO NEW IDEAS .

    Can u think of any ?

    March 6, 2014 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  10. linda lou smith

    I just hope and pray that someone or anyone can do the RIGHT THING for THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. have the politicians forgotten where we live and how men and women are dying for FREEDOM and RIGHTS by which we have always been blessed . Do you know how many of our citizens ,our children are forced into trafficing slavery in the USA.......let,s get real , everone should have access to good insurance by their own decision...not forced. FOCUS on what is morally correct.

    March 6, 2014 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  11. longfisch

    When you are a corporation, the democratic party stands behind changes to the ACA that affect them. When you are an individual, they muck anyone who wants to make changes that affect them. This change would not kill the ACA anymore than suspending the mandates for corporations and everyone here knows it.

    I am also smart enough to know if the roles were reversed the Republicans would be doing the exact same thing the democrats are doing now. Both parties care more about headlines than the American people.

    March 6, 2014 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  12. GOP just now drafting an alternative bill?

    They can't be serious. They are just now meeting to draft an alternative? 4 years later?

    March 6, 2014 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  13. Dave in Arizona

    Tax money wasting away...

    March 6, 2014 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  14. Matt

    Fire all these incompetent idiots and start over with NO money in politics!!

    March 6, 2014 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  15. Michael MN

    Replace with ???? Yea we all know you have not got to that point yet

    March 6, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  16. Doug

    I think there are as many attempts to repeal Obamacare as there are changes to the law Obama has made!!!

    March 6, 2014 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP JOKE party WASTS at least. 1.5 MILLION DOLLARS per vote . Msybe the GOP party of STUPID FISCLE CONSETVATIVES can set a new record on top of their wasting 24 BZiZlLZiON DOLLARS and getting NOTHING FOR IT. In THEIR shutdown. The GOP has by far the DUMBEST VOTERS in the USA and are a total LAUGHING STOCK of the whole country!!!!!

    March 6, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  18. Rosa

    What a waste. The only people who care about this is their base but that is who votes so I expect more if this stupidity.

    March 6, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  19. Narcissus Bellicose

    He won't be laughing if the GOP takes the senate....a real possibility. He won't be laughing at all.

    March 6, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  20. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP GOOF PARTY is a NATIONAL JOKE with IDIOTS like Bachman Cruz lee Rubio , yaho and Scott from Florida radal king of Iowa and the list could go on and on. The GOP voters have to be the DUMBEST ON EARTH. The GOP is going to get SLAUGHTERED in the November elections still HIDING BEHIND the healthcare law and being AGAINEST ANYTHING that would help the American people!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  21. rob

    It should be repealed! Democrats run on Obamacare I dare you.

    March 6, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  22. Angela

    What a waste of time! Why don't they give up their healthcare we pay for!

    March 6, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  23. Bailey

    I don't appreciate the President of the United States cracking jokes regarding the appeal of Obamacare. This healthcare is costing companies and individuals more money than it is worth.

    March 6, 2014 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    Do these GOP thugs even know ACA is a Law. I mean lex loci, law of the land? Pathetic idiots. Do they know so far 8 million enrolled? Nonsense garbage of GOP, drive these Al Queda of USA away in next elections, USA god bless you!!!

    March 6, 2014 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    I bet these GOP thugs got bribed by Koch insurance companies, very pathetic.

    March 6, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
1 2 3 4