Moments ago in a vote of 245 to 189, the House passed H.R. 2 ‘Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act after just seven hours of floor debate and without allowing Democrats to offer any substantive amendments to the legislation. The bill will now got to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he would not schedule it for a vote. Just three Democrats voted in favor of repeal.
Before the final vote, the minority unsuccessfully offered a motion to recommit that would have prevented the law from being repealed unless a majority of members gave up their government-sponsored health coverage. So far, only nine Republicans have said that they would opt out of the tax payer subsidized Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP). Watch the vote:
Republicans will soon vote on another measure instructing the committees of jurisdiction to draft up reform “replacement” legislation, but have not said when or if the measure would be considered by the full chamber. Republicans see their repeal effort as a multi-year campaign and have promised to target or defund different portions of the law — including the 1099 reporting requirement and the abortion provisions — that could attract bipartisan support in Congress.
Democrats, meanwhile, are also planning to keep health reform in the headlines. Yesterday, the Vermont Congressional delegation offered a bill that would allow states greater flexibility to adopt innovative solutions to the health care crisis, including constructing a single-payer health care system. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) have offered a similar bill in the Senate.