President Obama (White House photo)

(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama today vetoed a measure to repeal major components of his signature health care law, releasing a statement that extolled the virtues of his biggest domestic policy achievement while excoriating Republicans for trying to dismantle it.

In a message to lawmakers explaining his decision, the president said the measure “would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America.”

“Health care costs are lower than expected when the law was passed, and health care quality is higher — with improvements in patient safety saving an estimated 87,000 lives,” Obama said in the statement released Friday by the White House.

See also: House passes PPACA pruner bill

The veto likely ends, for now, any chance that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be undone during Obama’s presidency. Democrats in the House and Senate have enough votes to block an override by the Republican majority.

The House passed the repeal measure Wednesday in a 240-181 vote, the most recent of several dozen votes that body has taken since Republicans won a majority in the 2010 elections. The Senate passed the measure in December.

Republicans celebrated the passage of the bill with an enrollment ceremony Thursday, with leaders saying it fulfilled a campaign promise to voters who gave them control of both bodies of Congress in the 2014 elections.

—With assistance from Kathleen Miller, Billy House and Zachary Tracer.

See also:

Health policy shaper: Congress can get things done

Senate Republicans plan to repeal PPACA with 51 votes

 

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