U.S. House votes to be­gin re­peal of Oba­macare

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - NEWS - RICHARD COWAN WASHINGTON SU­SAN CORNWELL

U.S. House Repub­li­cans on Fri­day won pas­sage of a mea­sure start­ing the process of dis­man­tling Oba­macare, de­spite con­cerns about not hav­ing a ready re­place­ment and the po­ten­tial fi­nan­cial cost of re­peal­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s land­mark health-in­sur­ance law.

The House voted 227-198 to in­struct com­mit­tees to draft leg­is­la­tion by a tar­get date of Jan. 27 that would re­peal the 2010 Af­ford­able Health Care Act, of­ten called Oba­macare. The Se­nate ap­proved the same mea­sure early Thurs­day. No Democrats sup­ported the ini­tia­tive.

With this vote, Repub­li­cans be­gan de­liv­er­ing on their prom­ise to end Oba­macare, which was also a cam­paign prom­ise of pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump.

The pro­gram, which ex­panded health cov­er­age to some 20 mil­lion peo­ple, has been plagued by in­creases in in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums and de­ductibles and by some large in­sur­ers leav­ing the sys­tem.

The res­o­lu­tion, passed by the House and Se­nate, does not need pres­i­den­tial ap­proval since it is part of an in­ter­nal con­gres­sional- bud­get process. But once the Oba­macare re­peal leg­is­la­tion is drafted, both cham­bers will need to ap­prove it, and a pres­i­den­tial sig­na­ture will be re­quired.

By that time, Mr. Trump will have been sworn in as pres­i­dent and he has urged Congress to act quickly to re­peal and re­place the Demo­cratic pro­gram.

In the past few years, the House has voted more than 60 times to re­peal or al­ter Oba­macare but Repub­li­cans had no hope a re­peal would be­come law as long as Mr. Obama was pres­i­dent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.