Three House Republicans joined Democrats on Tuesday in voting against a bill that would repeal President Obama’s health-care law.
Illinois Rep. Robert Dold, New York Rep. John Katko and Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin all voted against the legislation which guts Obamacare while calling for a conservative replacement.
“Casting yet another symbolic vote for full repeal of the law, without any replacement legislation, simply distracts us from the work that must be done to drive costs down, restore access to care and make healthcare work for everyone,” Dold said after the vote.
Added the congressman: “The people of the 10th district sent me to Congress to advance solutions, not sound bites, to the problems we face.”
Katko and Poliquin were elected to Congress in 2014. Dold was re-elected in 2014, after losing his seat in 2012.
“As I promised to do, I voted against this bill, because we failed to include replacement legislation,” Katko wrote on Facebook.
The repeal bill, H.R. 596, passed by a vote of 239 to 186.
Poliquin said after the vote: “I strongly agree with my House colleagues that Obamacare continues to hurt our hard-working families, taxpayers and small businesses, and is stifling our economy.”
But he explained why he couldn’t vote for it.
“Any replacement law must also allow moms and dads to purchase health insurance plans that they can afford, and to choose the doctors and hospitals that best fit their family health care needs,” he said. “And, any replacement to Obamacare should not include provisions that smother economic growth and kill jobs.”
“Unfortunately, today’s 56th repeal ObamaCare bill does not achieve these goals,” Poliquin added. “That is why I voted no, although I continue to oppose many provisions in Obamacare. I look forward to voting for future legislation that does.”
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged on the House floor that lawmakers had voted on repeal legislation “many times in this chamber” but defended how Republicans were bringing it up for a vote again.
“Mr. Speaker, you want to know why?” he asked. “The answer is very simple. The law is a disaster. We still can’t afford its costs, and the American people still don’t want it.”
The Senate is expected to take up repeal legislation at some point too, but Republicans don’t have enough votes to stop a filibuster. Even if it made it onto the president’s desk, Obama has said he would veto it and the Senate doesn’t have enough votes to override.