On a virtual party line vote of 240-181, the U.S. House voted to approve H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. The bill contains several measures popular with Republicans and conservatives, including a repeal of portions of the Affordable Care Act and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Because the bill was passed under reconciliation rules authorized by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the bill was not subject to a Senate filibuster, unlike the more than 60 previous attempts to repeal Obamacare.
The measure now goes to President Obama, who is all but certain to veto it. According to the Associated Press, the next act in this political Kabuki Theatre will be an attempted override vote on January 22nd, which coincides with the annual March for Life and the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Republicans likely will not have enough votes to override the President’s veto.
Legislative passage of a measure repealing the health care law does mean that a major goal has been met by the Republican congress, something demanded by the party’s base. And, Georgia’s representatives didn’t hesitate to crow about their achievement. You can read their statements below the fold.
1st District Rep., Buddy Carter:
It is a proud day to finally get legislation to repeal the Obamacare train wreck on the President’s desk for the first time,” Carter said. “Now he must answer to the millions of Americans who have faced higher premiums and deductibles, lost their doctors, or had their policies cancelled completely. President Obama must also make a decision on whether he will do the moral thing and hold the criminals at Planned Parenthood accountable for the horrific acts exposed through recent videos. While I fear our president will ignore the call from both Republicans and Democrats to repeal this deeply flawed law while continuing to force this disaster that is destroying our healthcare system on Americans, I won’t stop this fight until Obamacare is gone and the free market is put back in our healthcare system. American families deserve better than Obamacare.
Third District Rep. Lynn Westmoreland:
This is a big win for the American people,” stated Westmoreland. “After years of increased taxes, higher premiums, costly prescriptions, and unsatisfied patients, doctors, and insurance providers, the House has passed a bill to gut the foundation of ObamaCare: it’s funding. Without the revenue and funding, ObamaCare doesn’t stand a chance. It’s the most significant repeal package since the disastrous healthcare bill was signed into law five years ago.
We have passed multiple repeal bills in the House that have simply died in the Senate. Through the reconciliation process, the Senate was able to pass the reconciliation bill with a simple majority of 51 votes. With this, we have an opportunity to relieve the American people from the burden ObamaCare has placed on their households. The ObamaCare reconciliation bill also prohibits mandatory funding to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and instead reinvests that money into our community health centers. Today is a new beginning, and I look forward to working towards patient-centered and conservative solutions to our healthcare system.
6th District Rep. Tom Price:
For the first time since this disastrous law was passed, Congress is sending a broad Obamacare repeal bill to the president’s desk. The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act would protect individuals, families, job creators and health care providers from the harm the law is doing to the quality, affordability and accessibility of care. Under the Obamacare status quo, folks are paying more in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for fewer choices and less access to physicians and treatments. Businesses face undue mandates and taxes in an already weakened economy. Sending this bill to the president’s desk clearly shows that Republicans are doing everything we can to protect the American people and their health care from an intrusive and unaccountable Washington bureaucracy.
Critical to this entire effort was Congress’ successful adoption of a budget last year. Reconciliation would not have been possible had the House and Senate not first passed the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution conference agreement, providing Congress with the authority to pursue the reconciliation process.
Repealing Obamacare is only a first step. Congress must pursue health care reforms that respect and protect the doctor-patient relationship, encourage innovation, and make quality care affordable and accessible for all Americans. We can address the tremendous challenges in America’s health care system through policies that put patients, families and doctors in charge, not Washington, D.C.. I look forward to Congress advancing patient-centered solutions in the months to come.
7th District Rep. Rob Woodall:
The unfortunate reality is that the regulatory mandates of Obamacare have been bad for American families and bad for our economy from the start – and continue to be an overwhelming burden with higher costs, fewer choices, and job-killing federal regulations across all industries. Since its beginning, the so-called Affordable Care Act over-promised and under-delivered while moving the country further from affordable, patient-centered health care. Removing this misguided legislation by its roots is the first step, and H.R. 3762 accomplishes the goal while paving the way for long-term solutions that offer accessibility without a government mandate, lower costs through common sense incentives for health care providers, and individual choice in the marketplace. These are the principles violated by Obamacare, and I’m proud to stand with the American people as we work to reinstate them. It’s my hope that President Obama will join us.
9th District Rep. Doug Collins:
Passage of this legislation is a landmark accomplishment, because for the first time, the President is going to be faced with a repeal of his own disastrous health care law. The public’s will has arrived at his doorstep, and he is going to have to decide whether or not he wants to work with Congress to find a healthcare solution that actually helps Americans, or continue to ignore the will of the people and our broken healthcare system.
This legislation contains provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year. Pulling the rug out from underneath the nation’s largest abortion provider is a huge win for life, protecting mothers and their unborn children from the grisly practices that came to light in a series of videos earlier this year. Funds will be redirected to community healthcare clinics, such as the 274 in Georgia, that provide quality services to women, so no government support goes to an organization that defends a procedure that is morally reprehensible and harmful to women.
10th District Rep. Jody Hice:
Since the President signed Obamacare into law, the House has voted more than 60 times to fully or partially repeal it. Today, I am pleased that for the first time, the repeal legislation will be sent to the President’s desk. This measure will not only reduce our deficit by $516 billion over a ten year period, it’s the first step to a patient centered healthcare system. By repealing the “Cadillac” tax and the automatic enrollment requirement, gutting the Obamacare “slush fund,” and doing away with other taxes and mandates that cripple small business growth and stifle our economy, Congress —backed by the American people — has finally given the President the opportunity to put Obamacare behind us.
Moreover, this bill rightly places a year-long moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding and redirects that funding to Community Health Center Programs which provide comprehensive women’s healthcare. The President will likely veto this legislation, and in doing so will send a message to the American people that he believes Washington knows best, consumers should pay more while receiving less, and organizations that traffic in unborn baby body parts should be funded by our taxpayers. I urge the President to listen to the American people and sign this legislation without delay.
11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk:
Despite recent headlines, the House began to shift momentum and restore power back to the people in 2015 – and we are now seeing the results. Today, as Republicans in Congress promised, we sent a reconciliation bill directly to the President’s desk that will dismantle Obamacare and block taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that has unashamedly profited from the sale of innocent unborn babies.
With healthcare costs reaching an all-time high, this legislation is a critical first step toward restoring patient-centered health care that best suits the needs of individual businesses and families. As a result of Obamacare, many individuals are now paying double – sometimes triple – for healthcare, and taxpayers are footing the bill for this unworkable, disastrous trillion-dollar bill. This is hardly the American dream that our founders envisioned; and, is anything but affordable.
Americans deserve a healthcare system that works for, not against, them. We are working hard to bring legislation to the table that reduces the cost of healthcare, restores free market competition, creates personalized insurance plans, and gets government out of the way.
12th District Rep. Rick Allen:
Since Obamacare was forced on the American people, premiums have increased, deductibles have become unreachable, millions have been dropped from their insurance plans and access to physicians has been diminished. After five years of this disaster, Americans deserve better. I was proud to cast my vote in favor of this important bill. Not only does this legislation alleviate the burden of a disastrous healthcare law, but it protects the most innocent in our society—the unborn.
I have consistently heard from Georgians of the 12th district who are depending on Congress to get rid of Obamacare and the strain and hardships it causes. Not only that, but I—and Americans from all across the country—have been absolutely outraged by the lack of humanity shown in the Planned Parenthood videos. This legislation ensures taxpayer money is not given to abortion clinics and funds are instead given to community health centers.
Now, it’s the President’s turn to act. He will have to choose between dismantling a costly and disastrous law and preventing disregard for human life or protecting his own political legacy.
14th District Rep. Tom Graves:
By passing this legislation, we’re upholding our promise to put legislation stopping Obamacare on the president’s desk. This is the furthest the repeal effort has ever gone,” said Rep. Graves. “I hope the president thinks about the many Georgians who are suffering under his healthcare law and joins us in stopping its harmful effects – higher premiums, limited choice and the cancellation of millions of health insurance plans. If the president rejects this common sense approach and the will of Congress, this once again proves that we can and will repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood – all we need is a new president who will sign the legislation into law. The fights for health care freedom and the right to life are far from over.