Jump to content

Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly called the ACA or "Obamacare"), which had been enacted by the 111th United States Congress on March 23, 2010.


A January 9, 2017 Congressional Research Service report entitled "Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act," noted that since ACA was passed in 2010, Congress has been deeply divided over the ACA. "Lawmakers opposed to specific provisions in the ACA or the entire law have repeatedly debated its implementation and considered bills to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the law."[1]: i  In October 2013, there was a "partial shutdown of government operations" that lasted over two weeks because of a disagreement between the "Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-led House" over the "inclusion of ACA language" in the FY2014 temporary spending bill.[2]: ii 

112th Congress (2011–2012)[edit]

In 2011, after Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, one of the first votes held was on a bill titled "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" (H.R. 2), which the House passed 245–189.[3] All Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for repeal.[4] House Democrats proposed an amendment that repeal not take effect until a majority of the Senators and Representatives had opted out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Republicans voted down the measure.[5] In the Senate, the bill was offered as an amendment to an unrelated bill, but was voted down.[6] President Obama had stated that he would have vetoed the bill even if it had passed both chambers of Congress.[7]

Following the 2012 Supreme Court ruling upholding ACA as constitutional, Republicans held another vote to repeal the law on July 11;[8] the House of Representatives voted with all 244 Republicans and 5 Democrats in favor of repeal, which marked the 33rd, partial or whole, repeal attempt.[9][10]

113th Congress (2013–2014)[edit]

In January 2013, Republicans introduced An act to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the United States House of Representatives.[11]

2013 federal government shutdown[edit]

Strong partisan disagreement in Congress prevented adjustments to the Act's provisions.[12] However, at least one change, a proposed repeal of a tax on medical devices, has received bipartisan support.[13] Some Congressional Republicans argued against improvements to the law on the grounds they would weaken the arguments for repeal.[14][15]

Republicans attempted to defund its implementation,[16][17] and in October 2013, House Republicans refused to fund the federal government unless accompanied with a delay in ACA implementation, after the President unilaterally deferred the employer mandate by one year, which critics claimed he had no power to do. The House passed three versions of a bill funding the government while submitting various versions that would repeal or delay ACA, with the last version delaying enforcement of the individual mandate. The Democratic Senate leadership stated the Senate would only pass a "clean" funding bill without any restrictions on ACA. The government shutdown began on October 1.[18][19][20] Senate Republicans threatened to block appointments to relevant agencies, such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board[21] and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.[22][23]

114th Congress (2015–2016)[edit]

On February 3, 2015, the House of Representatives added its 67th repeal vote to the record (239 to 186). This attempt also failed.[24]

The House passed the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015[25] on October 23, 2015 under the FY2016 budget reconciliation process, which prevents the possibility of a filibuster in the Senate. The bill would have partially repealed the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, notably the individual and employer mandates as well as the taxes on Cadillac insurance plans. Some conservatives in both the House and Senate opposed the bill because it did not completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have been inconsistent with the rules governing budget reconciliation bills.[26] The bill was the 61st time that the House had voted to fully or partially repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill also would have removed federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. The bill was expected to be vetoed by President Obama should it pass the Senate.[27]

In early December, the Senate passed an amended version of the healthcare reconciliation bill, sending it back to the House.[28][29] It was passed by the House on January 6, 2016, and vetoed by President Obama on January 8, the sixth veto of his presidency.[30] The House failed to override the President's veto on February on a vote of 241–186, which did not meet the required two-thirds supermajority.[31]

In January 2017, the Congressional Budget Office submitted its report on the estimated impact on insurance coverage and premiums with the repeal of ACA through H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.[32] The report completed with input from the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that 18 million more people would be uninsured in the first year after the repeal and by 2026, the number would rise to 32 million.[32]: 1  For those who are not part of a group plan, premiums would increase by up to 25% in the first year, and by 2026 would double.[32]: 1 

115th Congress (2017–2018)[edit]

On January 12, 2017, the Senate voted 51 to 48 to pass an FY2017 budget resolution, S.Con.Res. 3, that contained language allowing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process, which disallows a filibuster in the Senate.[33][34][35][36][1] In spite of efforts during the vote-a-rama (a proceeding in which each amendment was considered and voted upon for about 10 minutes each until all 160 were completed) that continued into the early hours of the morning, Democrats could not prevent "the GOP from following through on its repeal plans."[35][37]

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. Trump and many Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare.[38] President Trump signed an executive order on January 20, 2017, his first day in office, that according to then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would "ease the burden of Obamacare as we transition from repeal and replace". Spicer would not elaborate further when asked for more details.[39][40][41]

On March 6, 2017, House Republicans announced their replacement for the ACA, the American Health Care Act.[42] The bill was withdrawn on March 24, 2017 after it was certain that the House would fail to garner enough votes to pass it.[43] The result was in-fighting within the Republican Party.[44]

On May 4, 2017, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act (and thereby repeal most of the Affordable Care Act) by a narrow margin of 217 to 213, sending the bill to the Senate for deliberation.[48] The Senate indicated they would write their own version of the bill, instead of voting on the House version.[49] On June 22, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 was unveiled.

On July 25, 2017, the United States Senate voted to proceed to debate on the American Health Care Act. The Senate voted 50–50, largely along party lines with the Republicans for and the Democrats against proceeding, requiring Vice President Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska crossed the aisle to vote against the motion.[50]

On July 27, 2017, the Health Care Freedom Act, also known as the skinny repeal, was introduced. This bill was defeated 49–51, with Republican senators Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lisa Murkowski voting against it along with all the Democrats and independents.[51]

On September 13, 2017, an amendment to the American Health Care Act, commonly known as Graham-Cassidy, was submitted. The bill was sponsored by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, with Bill Cassidy of Louisiana as a co-sponsor.[52] A spokesman for the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a vote was planned to occur before September 30, which was the deadline to pass bills under budget reconciliation.[53][54][55] Rand Paul and John McCain indicated that they would vote against the bill.[56] Ultimately, McConnell announced on September 26 that the Senate would not vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill.[57]

On October 12, 2017, President Donald Trump enacted the end to government subsidies provided to health insurance companies intended to assist with affordability.[58] The Congressional Budget Office estimated by 2018, this loss would result in approximately a 20 percent increase in individual insurance premiums[59] to maintain and extend insurance coverage to lower-income groups as well as result in a lower prevalence of insured individuals.[59] The move for this action had mixed outlook from both Democrats and Republicans with its more instantaneous implementation, however opponents to the Affordable Care Act had supported the gradual implementation of this move since the introduction under the Obama administration in order to minimize responsibility for the policy.[60]

On November 2, 2017, a bill later known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was introduced by Representative Kevin Brady of Texas. Included in the bill was the move to strike the basis of individual mandate taxation to zero percent,[61] which exacted a tax penalty onto individuals who did not have “minimum essential health coverage”[62] under the Affordable Care Act. While this was not a direct effort to repeal the ACA, economists deemed the loss of the individual mandate was associated with lower incentives and interest in obtaining health insurance coverage.[63] The law was signed into effect on December 22, 2017 by Donald Trump,[64] with the loss of individual mandate taxation being set to take effect January 1, 2019.[61]

Vote total summary[edit]

Below is a summary of number of votes taken in the House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act either in full or in part through March 2014.

Month number of votes running total
January 2011[65] 1 1
February 2011[65] 10 11
March 2011[65] 1 12
April 2011[65] 4 16
May 2011[65] 3 19
August 2011[65] 1 20
October 2011[65] 1 21
November 2011[65] 1 22
December 2011[65] 2 24
February 2012[65] 2 26
March 2012[65] 2 28
April 2012[65] 1 29
May 2012[65] 1 30
June 2012[65] 2 32
July 2012[65] 1 33
December 2012[65] 1 34
January 2013[65] 1 35
March 2013[65] 1 36
May 2013[65] 1 37
July 2013[65] 2 39
August 2013[65] 1 40
September 2013[65] 5 45
October 2013[65] 1 46
November 2013[65] 1 47
January 2014[65] 2 49
March 2014[65] 5 54

The Tuesday, February 2, 2016 vote, with a tally of 241–186, was the 63rd attempt by the House.[66]

After the July 27, 2017 vote on the Health Care Freedom Act, Newsweek "found at least 70 Republican-led attempts to repeal, modify or otherwise curb the Affordable Care Act since its inception as law on March 23, 2010."[67]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b C. Stephen Redhead; Janet Kinzer (January 9, 2017), Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act (PDF), Congressional Research Service, p. 23, retrieved January 13, 2017
  2. ^ C. Stephen Redhead; Ada S. Cornell (October 7, 2016), Use of the Annual Appropriations Process to Block Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (FY2011–FY2017) (PDF), Congressional Research Service, p. 19, retrieved January 13, 2017
  3. ^ "Bill Summary & Status – 112th Congress (2011–2012) – H.R. 2". THOMAS. January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on September 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "Final Vote Results for passage of Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (H.R. 2)". THOMAS. January 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Beutler, Brian (January 19, 2011). "Dems Press GOPers To Repeal Their Own Benefits Along With Health Care Law". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  6. ^ "Motion to Waive All Applicable Budgetary Discipline Re: McConnell Amdt. No. 13". U.S. Senate. February 2, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "House Passes Health Care Repeal 245–189". C-SPAN. January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  8. ^ Boles, Corey (June 28, 2012). "Romney, GOP Pledge to Repeal Health Law". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "House Obamacare Repeal: Thirty-Third Time's the Charm?". ABC News. July 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Walker, Andrea K. (July 11, 2012). "House of representatives votes to repeal health reform for the 31st time". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "H.R. 45 Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  12. ^ Jonathan Weisman; Robert Pear (May 26, 2013). "Partisan Gridlock Thwarts Effort to Alter Health Law". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2013. we cannot use any of the normal tools to resolve ambiguities or fix problems
  13. ^ Lipton, Eric (March 19, 2013). "In Shift, Lobbyists Look for Bipartisan Support to Repeal a Tax". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Ezra Klein (July 2, 2013). "Will Obamacare lead to millions more part-time workers? Companies are still deciding". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Chait, Jonathan (July 3, 2013). "Obamacare Still Not Collapsing". New York.
  16. ^ Ornstein, Norm (July 24, 2013). "The Unprecedented and Contemptible Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare". National Journal.
  17. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (December 23, 2010). "What Defunding Health Reform Would Do". The New Republic.
  18. ^ Lori Montgomery; Paul Kane (October 1, 2013). "Shutdown begins: Stalemate forces first U.S. government closure in 17 years". The Washington Post.Blake, Aaron (September 19, 2013). "McCain: Efforts to repeal and defund Obamacare 'not rational'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  19. ^ Beutler, Brian (September 19, 2013). "New test could expose GOP's pack of charlatans". Salon. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  20. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (August 7, 2013). "Tea Party to Republicans: Shut Down the Government, or You're a Sellout". The New Republic.
  21. ^ Goddard, Teagan (May 17, 2013). "Blocking the Medicare Reform Board Won't Stop Reform". WonkWire.RollCall.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  22. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (May 24, 2010). "Save Donald". The New Republic.Cohn, Jonathan (July 6, 2010). "Meet The Don". The New Republic.
  23. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (July 19, 2011). "The New Nullification: GOP v. Obama Nominees". The New Republic.
  24. ^ Deirdre Walsh (February 3, 2015). "House votes – again – to repeal Obamacare". Reuters. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "H.R.3762 – 114th Congress (2015–2016): Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015". Library of Congress. October 23, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  26. ^ Snell, Kelsey (October 23, 2015). "House passes Obamacare repeal that could be in trouble in the Senate". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  27. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (October 23, 2015). "House Republicans' Budget Bill Deepens Rift as U.S. Debt Deadline Nears". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  28. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (December 4, 2015). "Not Even Catharsis Is Seen in Senate Vote to Repeal Health Law". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  29. ^ Snell, Kelsey (December 3, 2015). "Senate passes Obamacare repeal, Planned Parenthood defunding bill, putting Republicans on record". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  30. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 8, 2016). "Obama vetoes Republican repeal of health-care law". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  31. ^ Weaver, Dustin (February 2, 2016). "House fails to override ObamaCare veto". TheHill. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  32. ^ a b c "How Repealing Portions of the Affordable Care Act Would Affect Health Insurance Coverage and Premiums" (PDF), Congressional Budget Office, p. 4, January 2017, retrieved January 17, 2017
  33. ^ "S.Con.Res.3 – A concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2018 through 2026". United States Congress. January 3, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  34. ^ Snell, Kelsey; DeBonis, Mike (January 12, 2017). "Obamacare is one step closer to repeal after Senate advances budget resolution". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  35. ^ a b Andrew Taylor (January 12, 2017), Congress presses ahead on dismantling health care law, St. Louis, MO: St. Louis Today via Associated Press, retrieved January 13, 2017
  36. ^ 115th Congress (2017) (January 3, 2017). "S.Con.Res. 3 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved January 13, 2017. A concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal ...{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ "Senate opens Obamacare repeal drive with overnight marathon". January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  38. ^ Shindler, Michael (July 28, 2017). "Repeal of Obamacare Goes Down in Flames". The American Conservative. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  39. ^ "Inauguration live coverage | CNN Politics". January 20, 2017.
  40. ^ Luhby, Tami (January 6, 2017). "Americans split over Trump's ability to fix health care". CNNMoney. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  41. ^ Luhby, Tami (January 9, 2017). "How Trump could use his executive power on Obamacare". CNNMoney. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  42. ^ Golstein, Amy; DeBonis, Mike; Snell, Kelsey. "House Republicans release long-awaited plan to repeal and replace Obamacare". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  43. ^ Fram, Alan; Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo. "House Republicans, Short of Votes, Withdraw Health Care Bill". NBC Chicago.
  44. ^ Chait, Jonathan. "Republicans Tearing Each Other to Pieces Over Trumpcare Debacle." NYMag. April 6, 2017. April 6, 2017.
  45. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 256". U.S. House of Representatives. May 4, 2017.
  46. ^ "House Republicans pass bill to repeal and replace Obamacare". CNN. May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  47. ^ "Republican health care bill: What's in it?". Fox News. May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  48. ^ [45][46][47]
  49. ^ "Senate Republicans signal they plan to scrap bill the House just passed and write their own".
  50. ^ Kaplan, Pear (July 25, 2017). "Pence Breaks Tie as Senate Votes to Begin Debating Obamacare Repeal". NYTimes. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  51. ^ Pear, Robert; Kaplan, Thomas. "Senate Rejects Slimmed-Down Obamacare Repeal as McCain Votes No". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  52. ^ "S.Amdt.1030 to H.R.1628 – 115th Congress (2017–2018)". United States Congress. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  53. ^ Viebeck, Elise (September 20, 2017). "Why Senate Republicans are in such a rush this month on health care". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  54. ^ Nwanevu, Osita (September 20, 2017). "Senate to Vote on Obamacare Repeal Again Next Week". Slate. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  55. ^ Everett, Burgess. "Senate girds for final Obamacare repeal vote". Politico.
  56. ^ Killough, Ashley. "Where Republicans stand on Graham-Cassidy". CNN. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  57. ^ Fox, Lauren (September 26, 2017). "Senate won't vote on GOP health care bill". CNN. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  58. ^ Pear, Robert; Haberman, Maggie; Abelson, Reed (October 12, 2017). "Trump to Scrap Critical Health Care Subsidies, Hitting Obamacare Again". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  59. ^ a b United States, Congressional Budget Office (August 2017). "The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions" (PDF).
  60. ^ Mattingly, Kevin Liptak,Tami Luhby,Phil (October 13, 2017). "Trump will end health care cost-sharing subsidies | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved August 29, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  61. ^ a b U.S., Congress (November 6, 2017). "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1) - 115th Congress (2017-2018)".
  62. ^ United States, Congressional Research Service (May 5, 2020). "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF).
  63. ^ Fiedler, Matthew (March 1, 2020). "The ACA's Individual Mandate In Retrospect: What Did It Do, And Where Do We Go From Here?: A review of recent research on the insurance coverage effects of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate". Health Affairs. 39 (3): 429–435. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01433. ISSN 0278-2715.
  64. ^ Wagner, John (November 26, 2021). "Trump signs sweeping tax bill into law". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  65. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z O'Keefe, Ed (March 21, 2014). "The House has voted 54 times in four years on Obamacare. Here's the full list". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  66. ^ "House's 63rd attempt to dismantle Obamacare fails also". Newsweek. February 2, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  67. ^ Riotta, Chris (July 29, 2017). "GOP aims to kill Obamacare yet again after failing 70 times". Newsweek. Retrieved December 8, 2018.

Further reading[edit]