It’s that time again! The House of Representatives will hold a vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, for literally the 31st time. Signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, the act mandates that all Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty, or, as Chief Justice John Roberts calls it, a tax. The law also prevents health maintenance organizations from discriminating against prospective customers with preexisting conditions, and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans until the age of 26. As part of the individual mandate required all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan, Obamacare provides subsidies to assist lower income Americans in purchasing health insurance using a sliding scale model.
So let’s get to it!
3:59pm That's it. Live blog, out!
3:58pm Now that the House has voted to repeal the ACA with much fanfare, the issue will be taken up in the Senate....Actually, it won't because there is no way Majority Leader Harry Reid will let this bill see the light of day in the Senate. Unless, of course, he wants to engage in the kind of meaningless political theater we just witnessed from the Republicans.
3:53pm House votes to repeal Obamacare 244 to 185.
3:51pm Hmm. I wonder what the Senate will do with this repeal bill.
3:48pm Final vote on repealing Obamacare is underway.
3:47pm Andrews amendment goes down 248 to 180, with 240 Republicans voting keep their government health care.
3:36pm Members still voting past 15-minute mark. Slackers.
3:30pm If the Republicans were smart, they would vote for the Andrews amendment so they could at least say they're willing to apply the same rules to themselves as they do everyone else, since this attempt to repeal the ACA will go nowhere in the Senate. A missed opportunity.
Speech from earlier by Al Green (D-TX) in one of the funniest floor speeches ever made in the House.
3:15pm Fifteen minute vote on the Andrews amendment.
3:13pm Cantor always sounds like he's holding it in.
3:07pm Rob Andrews (D-NJ) just proposed an amendment that would strip members of Congress of their government health care benefits if they vote to repeal.
3:01pm And we're back in session!
2:20pm The House is taking a brief recess until 3pm or so. Final vote is expected around 3:30pm.
2:18pm Cantor says Obamacare paves the way for federal funding of abortion. That would be difficult since federal law already prohibits federal funding for abortions.
2:16pm For some reason, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reminds me of Mr. Mackey from South Park. Mmk? Have these two guys ever been seen in the same room at the same time?
2:11pm Eighty-five year-old John Dingell (D-MI) is scolding Republicans, armed with the gavel that was used to preside over the passage of Medicare when he was a young(er) congressman. By the way, Medicare was passed in 1965.
2:08pm Isn't it amazing that Congress can now force people into engaging in commerce, rather than just regulating it? If the federal government can make you buy a product, what can't it do? Oh god, I'm starting to sound like Antonin Scalia!
2:04pm No one, and I mean NO ONE is in the chamber listening to these floor speeches!
1:59pm Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) calls Obamacare a "big government takeover of health care."
1:54pm Tim Scott (R-SC) just made a not-so-subtle allusion to death panels, to which the fate of his grandfather may be subjected. It made me feel nostalgic for the crazy times of the summer of '09.
1:48pm Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), whose hair has not moved since he took office, says the American people don't want Obamacare. The latest polls show a divided public on the issue; 41% have a favorable view of the ACA; 41% have an unfavorable view of it.
1:46pm There is no way Republicans advance a health care proposal of their own ahead of the November election, as it will force them to support something that will undoubtedly be very unpopular. Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal was a case in point, but it represents the GOP vision on health care.
1:41pm Peter Roskam (R-IL) just said Obamacare should be repealed and replaced, but as Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is currently asking, replaced with what?
1:36pm And we're off! Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is delivering the opener for the Democrats after Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) fired the opening salvo for the Republicans.