|By DAVID ESPO, Associated Press|
By Republican count, the vote marked the 33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused
Repeal this year by
But Illinois Rep.
Nor was the vote in the House the only act of political theater during the day as campaign concerns increasingly crowded out bipartisan attempts at law-making in the Capitol.
One day after a campaigning Obama called on
Senate Majority Leader
The health care debate roiled the campaign for the
Republican presidential candidate
In the House, Republicans assailed the law as a job-killing threat to the economic recovery, but Democrats said repeal would eliminate consumer protections that already have affected millions.
"The intent of the president's health care law was to lower costs and to help create jobs. ... Instead, it is making our economy worse, driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire," said House Speaker
But House Democratic leader
"What a Valentine to the health insurance industry," Pelosi said scornfully of the repeal measure. The party leader was a driving force behind the overhaul when she was speaker and Democrats held a majority.
At its core, the law will require nearly all Americans to purchase insurance beginning in 2014, a so-called individual mandate that Republicans seized on to make their case that the program amounted to a government takeover of health care. The law's constitutionality was upheld two weeks ago in a
There was never any doubt that Republicans had the votes to pass the repeal in the House on Wednesday _ or that it would die in the
That's what happened in
In the months since, the
With the exception of a few relatively modest changes accepted by the
Some Democrats sought something of a middle ground.
There was no doubt about the political subtext.
Boehner said Republicans wanted to give Democrats who had previously voted to sustain the law a chance to reconsider, contending that "most Americans not only oppose this health care law _ they support fully repealing it. `'
Public reaction to the law has been consistently negative, but apart from conservative Republicans, it is less clear what support exists for repeal.
Among those who said they were opposed or had no opinion, 33 percent said they wanted it all repealed, 30 percent said they wanted parts repealed and 34 percent said they wanted to wait and see what happens without repeal.
|Copyright:||(c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.|