House Passes Bill Repealing Health Care Law


"The last thing that we should be doing today or any day is making a decision and casting a vote to put insurance companies back in the driver's seat and deny doctors and their patients the opportunity to make decisions about their own health care," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said at a press conference today. "This has been job-creating, life-affirming legislation."

House Passes Bill to Repeal Health Care Law

Democrats today lined up a bevy of administration heavyweights -- from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- to tout the benefits of the health reform law.

HHS released a study Tuesday that found as many as 129 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing health condition that puts them at risk of being denied affordable coverage.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers will not be able to deny coverage to any patients with pre-existing conditions, starting in 2014. The act already bars insurance companies from turning away children with pre-existing conditions.

"When we talk about changing the rules once and for all for people with pre-existing conditions, we're really impacting hundreds of millions of Americans, giving them the freedom to have the insurance coverage they need when they get sick, give them the peace of mind," Sebelius said today.

"People talk about repeal as political theater or symbolism. It isn't symbolic to the 149 million Americans with health conditions who now are locked out or priced out of the market," she added. "And it sure isn't symbolic to those working families who desperately need health security for themselves and their families, and are looking forward to the day when they indeed will have that kind of security."

Washington isn't the only battleground for the health care fight, which continues to also brew at the state level.

The number of states challenging the health care law grew to 27 Tuesday as Florida's attorney general filed a motion to add six new states --Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Maine -- to a multi-state challenge against the constitutionality of the law.

Oklahoma's Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt has also signaled his intent to file his own lawsuit in the coming weeks.

As states crunch their budgets, an increasing number are saying provisions required under the new law are too costly, even though the federal government has agreed to pick up the tab for many of those programs.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia today expressed concern that the law's Medicaid mandates could cost his state $2.5 billion in the next ten years. The federal law requires that Medicaid be expanded to cover Americans whose incomes are at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level -- about $14,000 in 2010 for a person living alone.

ABC News' John Parkinson and Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.

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