So, what does that mean? Well, nothing really. This news has been splashed all over the headlines today and a quick glance at a newspaper might give you the impression that health care reform is going away. Right now. But read a little further, and you’ll see that what’s likely to happen next on the repeal vote is nothing.
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, legislation to repeal H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by a vote of 245 to 189 with three Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with their Republican colleagues. The next step is for the bill to go to the Senate.
However, all indications are that the Democrat-controlled Senate will not even take up the bill for a vote, let alone pass it. This means that many sources are referring to the House vote as “symbolic,” rather than a step forward for proponents of repeal. Also, President Obama has promised in the past that he would veto any legislation repealing the health care law.
Now, that’s not to say that health care reform isn’t headed for some changes. In addition to wanting to overturn the law completely, Republicans are talking about eliminating or replacing certain parts of the legislation. And Democrats have said they are receptive to making some changes.
Any changes probably won’t be passed quickly. The next step in the House is for committees to review different parts of the law and how they could be changed. And while political debate has become more civil in recent weeks, there will still be plenty of it. Both parties overall seem willing to work to come to an agreement, but there are several fundamental disagreements about what health care reform should look like.
All this means that we stick with one continuing theme of health care reform – “wait and see.” So we’ll be waiting, and watching, and will keep you up-to-date on any big changes.