House Holds Test Vote On Repealing Health Care Law
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
As NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports, today's move was Republicans' opening salvo in the next political battle over health care.
ANDREA SEABROOK: What happened today was kind of a test vote on repealing health care. It was just a procedural measure: the rules that will govern the debate over the real repeal bill next week. But as a test, Republicans passed with flying colors: 236 to 181, 2 members voted present. What made today's floor debate interesting was hearing from a few of the feisty, confident Republican freshmen like Vicky Hartzler.
VICKY HARTZLER: This is a freedom bill.
SEABROOK: Hartzler represents the people in Missouri's 4th District who, she says, are especially angry that the government will force them to buy health insurance.
HARTZLER: By passing this last year, you have taken away my freedom, the freedom of the people of the 4th District and the freedom of this country.
SEABROOK: Another newly-elected Republican, Nan Hayworth of New York, is a physician.
NAN HAYWORTH: The House's vote to repeal is the first step towards assuring that all Americans will have the quality, choice and innovation in health care that they expect and deserve.
SEABROOK: That's why Congress watchers keep calling this repeal bill symbolic, which Hayworth, the New York freshman, totally rejects.
HAYWORTH: The bill we will be considering is in no way merely symbolic. It represents the true will of the American people, the majority of whom have stated time after time that they reject this law.
PETER DEFAZIO: Previous speaker's right, this is not symbolic, it's real.
SEABROOK: Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio matched the new Republicans' zeal.
DEFAZIO: The Republicans are going to allow the return of the worst abuses of the health insurance industry: pre-existing condition exclusions, taking away your policy when you get sick, lifetime and annual caps, throwing your kids off your policies.
SEABROOK: Vermont Democrat Peter Welch simultaneously congratulated and chided House Republicans.
PETER WELCH: You campaigned effectively. You beat us good. You ran on the agenda of defeating health care and repealing it. Now you're doing it. Own it. Admit what it is you are doing.
SEABROOK: Andrea Seabrook, NPR News, the Capitol.
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