US House of Representatives begins repealing Obamacare
Washington: The US House of Representatives voted on Friday to take initial steps toward repealing Obamacare, following Thursday’s Senate vote on the issue.
House representatives voted 227-198 for a resolution to determine the congressional budget for the 2017 fiscal year and the appropriate budgetary levels for the 2016-2018 fiscal years, allowing the Republicans to adjust budgets for programs under Obamacare, a legislation pushed through in 2010 to expand the coverage of health insurance by the Barack Obama administration, Xinhua reported.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the measure passed would launch a “thoughtful, step-by-step process” toward replacing Obamacare.
The Republican Party avoided voting directly to repeal Obamacare, which demands a super majority of 60 votes in Senate to pass, but chose to vote on a budget adjustment resolution, which only requires a simple majority. The Senate voted 51-49 on Thursday in favour of the resolution.
The Republican Party holds 52 seats in the 100-seat Senate and 241 seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives.
In both chambers of Congress, some Republicans were reluctant to vote along party lines as they believe their party should agree on a plan before moving to overturn the current legislation.
Obamacare, officially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has drawn criticism due to a rise in premiums. US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to replace it after taking office.