WASHINGTON (AP) — The House today voted 235-191 to pass H.R. 2775, a bill that would ban new subsidies to help people buy health insurance until the Obama administration enacts a new verification system to ensure benefits go only to those who are eligible.
Democrats say the bill, which has no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, would unnecessarily delay subsidies slated to start next year.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is unnecessary because, despite a one-year delay in the effective data of an employer income reporting requirement, the exchanges already will be able to use income tax return data and credit bureau data to verify applicants’ income information.
The vote was the 41st by House Republicans to repeal, de-fund or dramatically change the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) since it passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote. A few changes have been enacted, but the effort has largely been unsuccessful.
Today’s vote was mostly along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.
This week, House Republican leaders delayed voting on a bill to fund the government beyond the end of the month after some GOP lawmakers complained the measure didn’t adequately withhold funding for PPACA. If the impasse persists, it could result in a partial government shutdown at the end of the month.
“Delay, defund, repeal, replace. That is exactly what we want to do, because this law has become so amazingly unpopular with the American people,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
Under the law, many low- and middle-income families that don’t get health insurance through jobs will be eligible for subsidies to help buy insurance through state-based exchanges. Eligibility is based on income.