House passes 50th bill to undo Obamacare
March 5th, 2014
05:43 PM ET
6 years 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. Sniffit

    Truly an expert waste of time, GOPers/Teatrolls.

    "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,"

    And, yet again, I will point out that it is a completely and utterly failed analogy/comparison and that the two provisions have absolutely nothing in common, nothing to do with one another and play entirely different roles in the functionality and implementation of the ACA, such that this attempt to link them together is not only entirely dishonest, but also completely ridiculous.

    March 5, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Flagship, NC

    This is really dumb!

    March 5, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "selling insurance across state lines"

    Aaaaaah, yes, so that the red states can engage in a race to the bottom to see who can come up with the most insurance-company-friendly deregulation of the insurance industry and thereby attract all of the companies to their state so that just one state and its residents determine insurance law and the contours of the insurance industry for the entire country. Who wants to explain to the class how that's not functionally "nationalized health insurance"...not to mention the best and most certain way to end up with the worst and most consumer-abusive insurance industry possible?

    March 5, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. just saying

    obama unconstitutionally changes obamnacare nearly 30 times and then laughs and cracks wise at our elected representatives that are doing it legally and according to the constitution. it is clear the leftist dictator in the white house has no intention of folowing our constitution. i hope the republicans take the senate and impeach this dangerous hugo chavez wannabe.

    March 5, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. iris dannar

    They want to do now what President Obama asked them to do and they still dont know how but they still criticize him?

    March 5, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. sammy750

    Speaker Boehner is such a failure, a weak soul. Since 2010 and him being Speaker, he has done nothing. Is Boehner really a MAN, a strong man, or a weakly Tea Party puppet

    March 5, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    50 times the charm???

    Just wasting time, doing absolutely NOTHING. They should ALL be fired.

    March 5, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Chris

    Regardless of how anyone feels about ObamaCare, I would think that everyone could see that this is just childish and a waste of time at this point.

    March 5, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    They want to crash his Presidency "The Heart (of man) is deceitful above All Things, and desperately wicked" –
    (Jeremiah 17:9) "They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head" (Psalm 69:4)"Deliver me out
    of the mire, and let me not sink' (Psalm 69:14)

    March 5, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Babyboomer

    Could they at least attempt to do some other work. How about taking a serious look at the minimum wage in this country. That would be a start. How about taking a serious look at expanding the earned income credit to tax payers without small children. That would be another good one. Who in there right minds votes on the same bill 50 times... Isn't that the sign of insanity?

    March 5, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    "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.

    And Americans also cast 1.4 million MORE votes for Democratic House candidates than for repub/tea bag ones. Without ridiculous gerrymandering of districts, the repub/tea bags would not have held onto the majority.

    March 5, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    27 dems voted with the idiots! Time for them to go.

    March 5, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. 2_indy1600

    Even with the new patch for the ACA the president allowed on keeping policies, it didn't include the Govt PCIP policies bought before the IRS lost money and they had to shut it down because it ran OUT of money. Betrayed, lied to, and generally PO'd with this admin. doesn't even to begin to express the hypocrisy people feel. Where's the patch for those of us who bought directly into the ACA and have no recourse, no insurance and no faith in this law? You'll need thousands of dollars just to use the insurance; that should be fraud enough.

    March 5, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    "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.

    repub/tea bags are like whiny, bratty children: they stomp and pout and try to cause trouble when they don't get their way.

    So, America, let's respond appropriately: Put them all in time-out by voting them out of office on November 4, 2014.

    March 5, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. daviddavid

    Campaign slogan for GOP in 2014:
    "If you don't like your Obamacare coverage, you don't have to keep your Democratic Senator who voted for it..."

    These are the Democrats 
running for re-election in 2014 who voted for Obamacare:
    1.Mark Begich, AK
    

2.Dick Durbin, Il
    3.

Al Franken, MN
    4.

Kay Hagan, NC


    5.Mary Landrieu, LA


    6.Jeff Merkley, OR


    7.Mark Pryor, AR


    8.Jack Reed, RI


    9.Jeanne Shaheen NH
    10.

Mark Udall, CO


    11.Tom Udall NM
    12.

Mark Warner VA

    March 5, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. bill

    the king himself has 'altered' the law or should i say tax 27 times. whar's news about this?

    March 5, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. roro

    What a colossal waste of time and money. Don't repeal it – fix whatever you think is wrong.

    March 5, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  18. Chris-E...al

    There are a few things good in the not so ACA few ! But the best part about it is the dims are doomed this nov! It has negatively affected so many families and our budgets .But most of all we have been lied to many times to our face! americans are not dumb. fools !

    March 5, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Slim

    Everyone of those House Republican need to replaced by Military Veteran. They just dont get it.

    March 5, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. ghostwriter

    Boehner said he couldn't get around to immigration reform this year.....with like 10 months to go. But we can get around to yet another Obamacare bill........

    Talk about partisan politics.

    March 5, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Alan S.

    This is getting beyond old. The "JUST SAY NO!" Republicans that have nothing to offer in response, no plans of their own when it comes to important issues such Health Care, Social Security; Medicare, Immigration, Gun Controls, Same-sex marriage, and abortion, their only solution is just to vote NO! If fact, they have not provided any solutions other than reducing the taxes for the RICH so they could get huge amount of money in their PACS and the trickle down economic theory, trickle down into their pockets while the poor and middle class pay for it all. Why would anyone trust them?

    March 5, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Alfreda

    Imagine what they could get done if they stopped wasting our tax money and their time on this.

    March 5, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    If a Repuclican in 2016 Runs on ending obamacare,im afriad they will loose and loose big. Its time for us to step up with bold and new solutions for the American people. Obamacare like SSI, is here to stay. so lets get over it and move on.

    March 5, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    The teaklans are completely insane. Doing the same thing time after time with the same results.
    They really didn't learn a darn thing after shutting down the government and still don't get why folks are leaving the party and why.

    March 5, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. HenryMiller

    The Dems really ought to take the hint.

    March 5, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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