The GOP-led Congress sent legislation to President Obama Wednesday repealing his signature health law, fulfilling a promise to Republican voters in a presidential election year but inviting a certain veto. The nearly party-line vote in the House was 240-181. The legislation already passed the Senate last year under special rules protecting it from Democratic obstruction, so it goes straight to the White House. Republicans boasted of a signal achievement, saying they were forcing Obama to face up to the failures of his law while illustrating stark political choices in an election year. "We are confronting the president with the hard, honest truth," said Speaker Paul Ryan. "ObamaCare doesn't work."
Democrats called it pointless political theater that will have the same ultimate outcome as the 61 previous repeal votes that were blocked in the Senate, since Obama will veto the legislation. "A bill that is going to the White House, that will get the fastest veto we've ever seen happen in this country, is a monumental vote?" said Rep. Jim McGovern. "This is just a waste of everyone's time." Ryan and other GOP leaders acknowledged it will take a Republican president to get rid of the law. But they said that is the point. For maximum visibility Republican leaders made the legislation, which also cuts federal funding for Planned Parenthood, their first major vote of 2016. Some 16 million Americans have gained health coverage since the law was enacted, according to government figures. They would presumably lose it under the GOP approach.