July 11, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- Even though the outcome was predictable, there was plenty of heated debate Wednesday as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- again.
The House tally came out largely along party lines. Two-hundred-thirty-nine Republicans joined five Democrats voting for repeal. There were 185 votes against the measure -- all cast by Democrats. The House Republican leadership has tried to repeal or dismantle what they call "Obamacare" more than 30 times since the controversial legislation was passed two years ago.
"Why replay this bit of political theatre?" asked Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) about what likely is just a symbolic gesture.
However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says the effort has a greater purpose: "For those who did not support repeal the last time, it's a chance for our colleagues to reconsider."
Republicans continued to criticize the law as a huge tax increase that will force employers to drop coverage for millions of their workers and create a government takeover of health care.
"Obamacare takes away from patients the ability to make their own decisions and individual choices. ... Obamacare puts Washington in the driver's seat," says House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the repeal bill's chief sponsor.
But House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the "take away" of repealing health care reform is that its benefits would literally be taken away. "Take away, the Republicans say, protections for children with pre-existing conditions; take away prescription drug savings for seniors."