While the president once again makes changes to his signature legislative achievement, House Republicans continue targeting the health care law, casting their 50TH vote today to tweak it since seizing majority control in 2011.
The vote passed 250 to 160 with 27 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with the GOP majority.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the bill, known formally as “Suspending the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness Act,” would enact a one-year delay of Affordable Care Act‘s individual mandate, changing the penalty for failing to buy health insurance from $95, or one percent of income, to zero.
“Hardworking Americans are struggling under the president’s health care bill. They don’t need to see one percent of their salary taxed because they can’t navigate a failing Obamacare bureaucracy,” Cantor, R-Va., said today.
The vote comes as the president’s administration acted unilaterally today to make changes to the health care law yet again.
House Speaker John Boehner added the tax is “not fair” since the president has already delayed the law’s mandate for businesses.
“The president’s outlined and protected big businesses from problems with Obamacare and mandates on Obamacare,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “It’s time to provide the same kind of relief for American families.”
Of the 50 health-care related votes, Obama has signed seven changes into law, but none since winning a second term.
Democrats, such as California Rep. George Miller, a chief architect of the legislation, called the vote meaningless since the president is highly unlikely to sign any more changes into law.
“This country has a lot of things that have to be addressed and they use time almost every week that the House is in session to use up considerable time to debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act,” said Miller. “It’s unfortunate.”
During the debate leading up to the vote, New York Democrat Louise Slaughter said it was “truly amazing” that Republicans “managed to hold the same vote 50 times while so many Americans and so much of the world cries out for help.”
“I have a list of 50 votes that we could be taking today instead of another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Slaughter added. “Everything from rebuilding our crumbling bridges and roads to creating American manufacturing jobs.”