GOP Attempt To Repeal Individual Mandate Fails in House Vote Tuesday
On Tuesday, the House voted 187-230 against a Republican proposal to repeal the individual mandate in the new health reform law, Roll Call reports (Hunter, Roll Call, 6/15).
The GOP has argued that the government lacks authority to require U.S. residents to purchase health insurance. Some Republicans have called the mandate unconstitutional (Sherman, Politico, 6/15).
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) offered the proposal as a motion to recommit -- one of the tactics used by minority party members to force legislative changes -- which would have returned a small-business tax incentives bill (HR 5486) to committee.
Political Points for Republicans?
Despite the proposal's failure, some GOP members believe they scored political points by forcing a major vote against part of the new reform law (Ethridge, CQ Today, 6/15).
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, "This is the first step in Republicans' efforts to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with common sense, step-by-step reforms to lower costs." According to Roll Call, the GOP said the vote illustrated divisions within the Democrats over the overhaul, as 21 members joined Republicans in voting against the mandate.
However, Democrats said that the vote displayed increased support for the reform law, because 34 Democrats voted against the overhaul when it passed the chamber in March (Roll Call, 6/15). Democrats also said that the GOP was attempting to score political points with the vote.Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, noted that the individual mandate originally was a Republican proposal that was developed in the early 1990s as an alternative to health reform proposals introduced by the Clinton administration. Levin said the vote on the mandate was "nothing more ... than a disingenuous political stunt to undermine health reform" (CQ Today, 6/15). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.