House passes 50th bill to undo Obamacare
March 5th, 2014
05:43 PM ET
8 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.

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"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. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Talk about a waste of tax payer's money. And who is in charge of congress? Oh! it's those wonderful republicans. What a freakin joke.

    March 5, 2014 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Chipster

    So, the score is now 50 to 0. 50 attempts to undo the ACA and 0 attempts to encourage U.S. businesses to create more jobs. And – they've still made no effort at all to offer any alternative solution to the healthcare problem. The GOP has loads of complaints but no solutions. More tax cuts for the wealthy? Allow industries to pollute more, drop safety programs for employees, and impose the bosses religious doctrines on employees (assuming the boss is a Christian, of course)? Send them home!

    March 5, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    OK, now the repugs are officially insane! if they seriously think this is going to accomplish something someday, they need to be removed from office on the grounds that they are mentally unfit to serve! if they'd spent a tenth of the energy they keep expending to repeal Obamacare on working with Obama and the Democrats to make it better, they might have actually accomplished something. instead, they keep going thru these exercises in futility to placate their rabid base. how sad. if the country doesn't vote these miscreants out in November, shame on us!

    March 5, 2014 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. i'malib

    I can't believe they want to repeal it! Who wouldn't want free healthcare AND a $2500 bonus for taking it! Besides, if you don't want the free healthcare, you can keep your old plan! DUH!!!

    March 5, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom

    What a WASTE of money!

    March 5, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. Maripil

    The GOP must be booted out as they have not passed any constructive bill!! All they do is nothing and waste precious time by trying to undo the ACA!!

    March 5, 2014 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    More time wasting from the GOP. Shouldn't you be trying to expunge the interwebs of all the loving commentary you bestowed on Vlad the Impaler Putin a few months back?

    March 5, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. jenn,philadelphia

    It's nice that the President and the rest of the Democrats can laugh and make jokes about this bill. Meanwhile, the President unilaterally changes the "law of the land" yet again to help his fellow Democrats in the mid-term elections. I think the voters should have the last laugh and send them all home permanently.

    March 5, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. Tony in Maine

    ...and we actually pay them to do this.

    March 5, 2014 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Gabe

    Its funny to hear them complaining about the Republicans voting yet again to back out of the "marriage". In a marriage, both parties say "I do." In this case, not one single Republican wanted a part of that "marriage". So is there any surprise that they want out? In a marriage you compromise. It seems that if the Democrats wanted Republican support, they should have compromised to at least get some of them to say "I do". I think the Democrats should repeal Obamacare and then work on a compromise. They abused their power and didn't care to compromise and are now paying the price. We will never make progress because only one half of the party is rowing the boat, and the other half rowing the other way. Any wonder why we are going in circles?

    March 5, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Pete

    Don't these republicans get it..It's almost impossible to repeal the ACA bill and if you get past both houses it would be vetoed by Pres.Obama right !!Repealing parts would literally take years and after midterms you republicans will most certainly have to start over ,truth be known..Have fun with your dreams of repeal because the longer the health care bill goes on the better America feels about using it republicans like it it not..

    March 5, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. len

    So tired of the GOP and Tea Party folks. Over 4 million people have enrolled and have coverage. The GOP have done absolutely nothing to help the American people. Remember what they said in 2010, we will create jobs. Never happened . When are the American people going to realize these folks only care about the rich, big business, and big oil companies
    Vote them out in 2014 do not wait until will to late. Votevin2014!!!

    March 5, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The GOP controlled Congress is simply demonstrating why they should not be in power. Every stunt like this makes us hate them even more. Please vote these traitors out in November!

    March 5, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. Lewis

    Oh look, their 50th failure.

    March 5, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Logictox

    Let's all admit that Obamacare is flawed to the core and get rid of this albatross.

    March 5, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. GoodVaGuy

    So Republican continue to waste tax dollars for their lost cause? Does that define incompetence?

    March 5, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. S. B. Stein

    Why are they doing this when they know it won't pass the Senate? I would rather that they work towards immigration reform or something else that might pass the Senate.

    March 5, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. penguin

    What we need is a limit on the number of Senators and Congressmen. We could get by just fine if we only had one Senator from each State and half as many Congressmen

    March 5, 2014 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. John Q

    Never seen a group like the GOP so determined to accomplish nothing,
    Typical and predictable
    And their poorest, dumbest low information red state moochers eat it up

    March 5, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Dusty

    Yeah its a lie just like Free Trade was a lie or trickle down economics.

    March 5, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. jerrylax

    keep joking obama, fact is your ACA is a disaster and you waisted enough tax payer money to give thousands of Ameircan children free college educations. Some of are paying attention to you constant missteps, divisive politics, and incompetence foreign and domestic affairs.

    March 5, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. marilyn58

    Losers never give up! what a waste of our tax dollars, paying their salary for wasting everyone's time,

    March 5, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    If Republicans keep bringing the car theif mentality of the likes of Rep.Issa to Washington, the death of the Party of NO will be here sooner than we thought. Witnessing the implosion of a former great institution, now a hating mob, is a very sad thing.

    March 5, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  24. The Truth the Light and the Way

    The House...the People's House has become a joke, led by the head clown, Mr. Speaker John Boehner. Here I thought it was all about jobs. The GOP is on the path of extinction. So sad!

    March 5, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. NameDon Hill

    How can anyone believe congress is doing the people's business, when they are so determined to repeal the national healthcare law, that they have absolutely no time for any other business. 50 times they have voted to repeal this law, and 50 times they have failef. Are they so dumb they can't understand the futility of what they are doing. And this is what we have to look forward to? ?? God help us all.

    March 5, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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