WASHINGTON — Democrats celebrated the third anniversary of the passage of President Obama’s signature health-care legislation on Friday by voting down a Republican amendment to repeal the entire law.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment repealing Obamacare failed to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate on Friday, receiving 45 ayes and 54 nays. The amendment was attached to the Senate Democratic budget resolution for 2014.
Cruz’s amendment called for “patient-centered reforms to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, promoting economic growth” to take the law’s place.
“Tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of the passage of Obamacare,” Cruz said on the floor before the vote. “Obamacare is hurting young people. It’s hurting seniors. It’s hurting Hispanics. It’s hurting African-Americans. It’s hurting single moms. It’s hurting the economy. It should be repealed.”
Democratic Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin dismissed the amendment, saying, “This will be the 36th time that we’ve voted on repealing the Affordable Care Act.”
This wasn’t the first time Cruz has attempted to tie Obamacare repeal to spending bills. Earlier this month, he failed to get the Senate to pass his amendment to the continuing resolution up for debate that would have delayed funding of Obama’s far-reaching health-care law until the economy improves.
The Senate also is taking up an amendment from Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo on Friday to repealing tax increases for “low- and middle-income Americans” under Obamacare.
While Democrats have scoffed at GOP attempts to get rid of the law, a bipartisan block of senators on Thursday voted for an amendment to repeal the medical device tax inside the law.