Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On Health Care Reform: Stolen from the APA's Announcements


Moments ago, as expected, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 2, legislation to repeal last year's health reform law. The final tally was 245-189, with 3 Democrats joining Republicans to vote for repeal. No House Republicans voted against repeal. The impact of the vote appears to be largely symbolic, since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already said he will not bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, and it appears unlikely that Senate Republicans will be able to attract enough Senate Democrats to force a vote. Even if the Senate does approve H.R. 2, President Obama has already indicated that he will veto the bill, and there are insufficient votes in Congress to override a veto should it occur.

Tomorrow, the House is scheduled to debate legislation that instructs key committees to develop proposals to replace the reform law. While the President has indicated he is not opposed to modifying existing law, it is difficult to predict how likely such action is to succeed. In the meantime, the House GOP majority is also expected to seek to defund or otherwise delay implementation of the law. Numerous court challenges to the law remain in process and most likely will be up to the Supreme Court to resolve.

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