House Advances Bill To Gut Obamacare, Defund Planned Parenthood

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The House Budget Committee advanced a GOP reconciliation bill Friday that would unravel major components of the Affordable Care Act and temporarily stop Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.

“Together, this package will dismantle many of the key elements of Obamacare that are harming individuals and families, hurting job creation and spending taxpayer dollars on programs with little to no congressional oversight,” said Republican Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the Budget Committee.

The fast-track measure would do away with the individual mandate, the Cadillac tax and a tax on medical devices, and a board established to recommend cuts to Medicare when it exceeds spending limits. It would save about $80 billion over the next 10 years, although 15 million fewer Americans would be insured, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The bill would also strip Planned Parenthood of federal funds for a year, and transfer those funds to other health centers. The non-profit came under fire recently when The Center for Medical Progress released a series of undercover videos revealed its dealings in fetal tissue harvesting for research. CMP alleges Planned Parenthood clinics are illegally profiting from the exchange.

Democratic Rep. Chis Van Hollen, ranking member on the Budget Committee, said Republicans should focus on finding someone to replace Rep. John Boehner as speaker, instead of trying to pass legislation that President Obama will veto.

“This effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, you know it’s going nowhere,” Van Hollen said, adding that he doesn’t believe Planned Parenthood did anything illegal. “The president is going to reject the bill. This effort to go after Planned Parenthood is not going to go anywhere.”

The bill is expected to pass the House along party lines, and has a good chance in the Senate, since it will require only a simple majority to pass under reconciliation rules.

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