PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the entire Affordable Health Care Act.
That’s the signature bill of President Obama that was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court last month.
Here locally, the vote to repeal the act known as Obamacare was strictly party line.
Two local House Republicans, Tim Murphy and Mike Kelly, voted to repeal the new law while three local Democrats, Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Mike Doyle, opposed the repeal.
“This is clearly a political stunt,” Doyle told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano. “This is the 31st time that we will vote on a repeal with the Republicans knowing full well that there are not votes in the Senate to pass this nor would the president sign it. It’s an exercise in futility and a waste of our time. We could be working on creating jobs and moving the economy forward.”
“I don’t care how many times they tell us this won’t get through the Senate,” responded Republican Kelly. “You know what, I’m coming back tomorrow, I’m coming back the day after that. We’re going to get this fixed for the American people.”
Kelly said the law was burdensome.
“Over 2,000 pages of legislation, up to 1,700 pages of rules and regs — they’re still not done with it yet — and no idea of what the cost is going to be. Who in their right mind would look at that say, ‘Yeah, it makes sense to me.’ No, it doesn’t. That’s why the people don’t want it.”
But Kelly’s Democratic challenger, Missa Eaton, says Republicans are throwing the baby out with the bath water, repealing rules that keep young people on their parent’s insurance, require insurance for pre-existing health conditions like cancer and that help seniors get cheaper drugs.
“They don’t have a plan for anything. So what they do is they are against any plan that comes up that they didn’t come up with but they didn’t come up with anything,” Eaton noted.
While some Republicans say they want to keep the good parts of the health reform law, there was no effort today to replace the President’s plan with something else.
Both Republicans Murphy and Kelly say that will come later.
But local Democrats say until they see what that replacement looks like, they have no intention of repealing parts of a law that polls suggest many Americans like.