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The New American

Monday, 07 December 2015

Senate Votes to Repeal Much of ObamaCare, Defund Planned Parenthood

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The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would both repeal significant portions of ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. This marks the first time that chamber of Congress has approved any type of ObamaCare repeal, in contrast to the dozens of such bills passed by the House of Representatives.

“Middle-class Americans continue to call on Washington to build a bridge away from ObamaCare. They want better care. They want real health reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “For too long, Democrats did everything to prevent Congress from passing the type of legislation necessary to help these Americans who are hurting. Today, that ends.”

Democrats, of course, controlled the Senate from 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, through 2014 and blocked all attempts at ObamaCare repeal during that period. Even after Republicans took charge, the minority was still able to stall repeal by threatening a filibuster. But the GOP outflanked them this time by using a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to bring the bill, already passed by the House, to the floor for a vote. Ironically, this is the same tactic the Democrats, despite possessing a filibuster-proof majority at the time, utilized to ram the ACA through the Senate in late 2009.

The bill passed 52-47, with all Democrats plus two Republicans opposed. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted against the bill because of the amendment defunding Planned Parenthood, which they tried unsuccessfully to get removed. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) missed the vote because he was out campaigning for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.


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