fails to knock down Obama veto of anti-Obamacare bill
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[February 03, 2016]
By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of
Representatives on Tuesday failed to override President Barack Obama's
veto of legislation that would have dismantled his signature healthcare
law, the Affordable Care Act.
At least a two-thirds vote of the House was needed to knock down
Obama's veto; the Republican-majority House fell short by more than
three dozen votes. The vote was 241-186, and ends consideration of
the bill; the Senate will not take it up.
The widely expected outcome was the latest chapter in the lengthy
clash between Republicans and Democrats over the Affordable Care
Act, also known as "Obamacare."
Republicans have been vowing to gut the law since 2010, when the
then Democratic-majority Congress passed the landmark program
designed to provide healthcare for millions of uninsured Americans.
The House has voted to dismantle Obamacare dozens of times, but
Republicans could not get a repeal through the Senate until late
last year, when they used a procedural maneuver denying Democrats'
ability to block the legislation.
Obama vetoed the bill last month; it was the eighth veto of his
presidency, and none have been overridden.
Republicans were anxious to show they had done everything they could
to take down Obamacare, which they say has raised insurance costs
and reduced health care choices. They said Tuesday that this was not
the end of the story.
"The end of Obamacare is coming," predicted Republican House
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "When a Republican president takes
office next year, we know we can get this passed ... Obamacare can
be gone once and for all."
Such a scenario assumes, however, that the Republicans capture the
White House in November elections, and maintain their majorities in
the Senate and House as well.
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Democrats mocked Republicans, saying they were proposing to deprive
millions of their health insurance without a replacement. About 11.3
Americans have signed up this year for insurance on the Obamacare
"While we have voted as of today 63 times to dismantle it, how many
times have we voted to replace it? Zero! Zero times to replace it!"
declared Representative Chris van Hollen, a Democrat.
The bill also would have taken funds away from Planned Parenthood,
another target of Republican criticism after undercover videos
showed the women's healthcare provider discussing the use of fetus
parts for research.
Two anti-abortion activists behind the filming of the videos were
indicted by a Texas grand jury last month, while the jury cleared
Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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