Saturday, January 9, 2016

How our members of Congress voted on the bill passed by Congress that would repeal Obamacare

For the first time, Congress sent a bill repealing key provisions of  Obamacare to the President for his signature earlier this week, which he will veto. Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare on numerous occasions before, but this is the first time a bill passed both houses and reached the President. The reason it passed this time, is that it passed through the budget reconciliation process so Senate Democrats could not filibuster the bill. The House passed it, sent it to the Senate, the Senate amended it and sent it back to the House, the House passed the Senate version.  This process meant the bill did not require 60 votes to clear the Senate but only a simple majority. The President, however, will veto the bill and there are not enough votes to override a veto.

The Bill did not actually repeal Obamacare but repealed major provisions. Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 would make these key changes to Obamacare:

  • Restrict the federal government from operating health care exchanges
  • Phase out funding for subsidies to help lower and middle-income individuals pay for insurance through the health care exchanges
  • Eliminate tax penalties for individuals who do not purchase health insurance and employers with 50 or more employees who do not provide insurance plans
  • Eliminate taxes on medical devices
  • Eliminate the “Cadillac tax” on the most expensive health care plans provided by employers to their employees.
  • Phase out an expansion of Medicaid over a two-year period
The House passed the bill by a vote of 240 to to 181 and the Senate had passed it last month.  In the House, 239 Republicans voted in favor of the bill and one Democrat,  and 178 Democrats and one three Republicans voted in opposition. There were no surprises in how our U.S congressional delegation voted:
Yea   R   Roe, Phil TN 1st
Yea   R   Duncan, John TN 2nd
Yea   R   Fleischmann, Chuck TN 3rd
Yea   R   DesJarlais, Scott TN 4th
Nay   D   Cooper, Jim TN 5th
Yea   R   Black, Diane TN 6th
Yea   R   Blackburn, Marsha TN 7th
Yea   R   Fincher, Stephen TN 8th
Nay   D   Cohen, Steve TN 9th

In the Senate, Senator Alexander and Senator Corker voted for the bill.

For more information on the House vote, follow this link and for more info on the Senate vote  see this link.

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