House Republicans banded together to pass a bill that would dismantle parts of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, and halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year as part of a budget reconciliation bill.
It's virtually certain President Barack Obama will veto the bill — if the Senate doesn’t first — and some Democrats have slammed the bill’s passage as part of a political ploy meant to solidify support for the GOP ahead of the presidential election.
"If he vetoes it, I think it will crystallize to the country that the only component missing now is a Republican president, and it shows even more importantly why we need to get a Republican president in the White House,” Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana told The Associated Press.
The only Democrat to support the bill was Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who opposes abortions, but seven Republicans voted against it, The Hill reported. Several Senate Republicans also oppose the bill, including presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. They allege GOP leaders are backing off from their promise to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood for a year, the bill would remove the individual and employer mandates for buying health insurance as well as medical device tax and the so-called Cadillac tax on high-priced insurance policies.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California believes the passage of the bill is all for show. "This is a hyper-partisan document that is just talking points for extremists," he told AP.
Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York had even less patience. “Here we go again with again, with the 61st time repealing Obamacare,” he told The Hill. “Give us a break, it’s a waste of everybody’s time.”