Congress Sends Bill Unraveling Obamacare To President’s Desk For First Time

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

In a 240-181 vote, passed largely along party lines in the House, Congress successfully sent a bill unraveling large components of Obamacare to the president’s desk for the first time in history Wednesday.

The White House has made clear it plans to veto the legislation designed to dismantle the commander in chief’s signature health-care law.

“This budget reconciliation bill, which would reduce the federal deficit by a half trillion dollars, forces the president to confront the failures of Obamacare head on,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “But most importantly, it clears the path to repealing this law with a Republican president in 2017 and replacing it with a truly patient-centered health care system.”

The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act would do away with the individual and employer mandates, kill the Cadillac tax and medical device tax, which were recently delayed for two years under a provision in the omnibus spending bill, and defunds Planned Parenthood for a year.

The lower chamber had previously passed a version on the bill in October, but had to vote on it again after it was amended in the Senate in December.

GOP lawmakers used the reconciliation process, a fast-track tool which allows the upper chamber to pass filibuster-proof legislation with just a majority vote, to get the legislation through.

Democratic 2016 front-runner Hillary Clinton said Monday Republicans are closer than ever to repealing the president’s landmark legislation.

“If there’s a Republican sitting there, it will be repealed and then we will have to start all over again,” Clinton said during a town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa. “I don’t think the stakes could be higher.”

Ryan said Republicans will offer an alternative to Obamacare before the end of the year.

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