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House passes PPACA repeal battle to Senate

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Members of the U.S. House voted 239-186 Tuesday to approve H.R. 596, a bill that would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

H.R. 596 would also repeal the health care provisions in a PPACA companion bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA).

The Republicans who voted approved the bill by a 239-3 margin.

See also: Tea Party takes on business groups in primaries

All of the 183 Democrats who voted on the bill voted against it.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, a medical doctor, managed the Republican side of the House floor debate on the bill. He noted that, last fall, President Obama had declared that, “Make no mistakes, my policies are on the ballot.”

“It is actually one of the few times I have ever agreed with this president,” Burgess said. “His policies were on the ballot, and the American people soundly rejected them, placing a historic majority of Republicans in the House and taking control of the Senate out of the hands of Harry Reid.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said PPACA has helped 19 million uninsured Americans get health insurance.

“There are 129 million Americans who can no longer be denied health insurance for having preexisting conditions,” Pallone said. Americans like the Affordable Care Act… We cannot turn over the health care system again to the insurance companies, which are going to have skeletal plans, not provide good benefits and raise premiums to whatever they want.”

Democrats said yesterday’s vote on H.R. 596 was the 56th the House has held to repeal or weaken PPACA. In the past, Democrats controlled the Senate and blocked consideration of most of the PPACA-related legislation that passed in the House.

Now, Mitch McConnell, a Republican, is the majority leader in the Senate. He still needs help from several Democrats and independents to get bills to the Senate floor under the usual Senate procedural rules.

See also: Tennessee shows how Republicans are learning to love PPACA.