US House of Representatives begins process to repeal Obamacare

Washington: The US House of Representatives voted on Friday to take initial steps toward repealing Obamacare, following Thursday's Senate vote on the issue.

House representatives voted 227-198 for a resolution to determine the congressional budget for the 2017 fiscal year and the appropriate budgetary levels for the 2016-2018 fiscal years, allowing the Republicans to adjust budgets for programs under Obamacare, a legislation pushed through in 2010 to expand the coverage of health insurance by the Barack Obama administration, Xinhua reported.

Barack Obama. AP

Barack Obama. AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the measure passed would launch a "thoughtful, step-by-step process" toward replacing Obamacare.

The Republican Party avoided voting directly to repeal Obamacare, which demands a super majority of 60 votes in Senate to pass, but chose to vote on a budget adjustment resolution, which only requires a simple majority. The Senate voted 51-49 on Thursday in favour of the resolution.

The Republican Party holds 52 seats in the 100-seat Senate and 241 seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives.

In both chambers of Congress, some Republicans were reluctant to vote along party lines as they believe their party should agree on a plan before moving to overturn the current legislation.

Obamacare, officially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has drawn criticism due to a rise in premiums. US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to replace it after taking office.


Updated Date: Jan 14, 2017 09:12 AM

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