House votes to repeal healthcare legislation

WASHINGTON (RNN) - The House of Representatives voted to repeal healthcare reform legislation by a Repbulican-led majority, sending a symbolic message to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

"Repeal means keeping a promise. This is what we said we would do," said Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH. "And when you look at the facts and when you listen to the people, this is a promise worth keeping."

Boehner led Republicans who argued that the legislation destroys jobs and bankrupts government.

"It translates into substantial costs," said Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL. "Over $500 billion must be paid by hard-working, American taxpayers."

On Twitter, Boehner said that failure to repeal "ObamaCare" would leave in place 160 new boards, bureaucracies, programs and commissions.

The final vote was 245 to 189 in favor of repeal. It was cast largely along party lines. No Republican voted against repeal, and only four Democrats voted to repeal.

During the mid-term elections in which they took over the House majority, Republicans promised to improve the economy, create jobs and decrease the federal deficit.

Democrats argue that the legislation does just the opposite.

"Republicans are voting to take tax breaks away from small businesses, raise prescription drug prices for seniors and let insurance companies go back to denying coverage to sick children," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, in a news release. "As if that wasn't bad enough, Republicans' plan would also add more than $1 trillion to the deficit."

Reid called the vote "nothing more than partisan grandstanding," saying that the two parties should be working to create new jobs and strengthen the middle class.

"Throwing it away is a political farce," said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-WA.

That's a sentiment Obama seemed to share in a statement released by the White House press office on Tuesday.

"So I'm willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act," Obama said Wednesday in a news release. "But we can't go backward. Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can't deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway health care costs."

Bipartisan solutions will have to be forged if any changes to the legislation is to be made.

Media reports indicate that Reid will not bring full repeal legislation to the Senate floor and that Obama would ultimately veto such a measure.

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