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House passes PPACA mandate repeal package

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Members of the U.S. House today voted 240-189 to pass H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 measure.

Provisions in the measure would repeal some well-known sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), including the individual coverage ownership mandate, the employer coverage and coverage reporting mandates, the excise tax on high-cost “Cadillac plans,” and the medical device tax, according to the bill text.

The measure would also take funding away from Planned Parenthood.

Only one of the 183 Democrats who voted, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., voted for the measure.

Republicans voted 239-7 in favor of the measure.

Heritage for America, a group that opposes PPACA, argued earlier this week that Republicans in the House should oppose H.R. 3762 because the measure is not a full PPACA repeal measure. Passing and implementing the measure as-is would leave many PPACA rules and programs, including the PPACA exchange system, in place, the group said.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and two of Lee’s Senate Republican colleagues who are running for president, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, issued a statement Thursday calling for Republicans to withhold support for H.R. 3762.

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said in a statement of his own about the PPACA-related provisions in H.R. 3762 that, “Today’s reconciliation package is the best chance we have to repeal the most destructive parts of the law.”

“I will continue to do all I can to gut this historically bad law that has made something that should be simple, accessing quality care, far too difficult and too expensive,” Sessions said.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Ways and Means chairman and a candidate to take over for John Boehner as House speaker, is also supporting H.R. 3762.

“With this bill, we can finally confront the president with the reality confronting working families every day: higher costs and lower quality,” Ryan said. “We can put on the president’s desk a bill that will dismantle Obamacare and lay the foundation for a patient-centered system.”

Because the House wrote H.R. 3762 under the rules governing budget reconciliation legislation, not under the rules governing ordinary bills, Republicans can get the measure through Congress with just 51 votes in the Senate, without facing the need to come up with 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.


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