The US House of Representatives [official website] on Friday voted to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) [text]. The decision to dismantle [Reuters Report] the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare, by a vote of 227-198 followed the US Senate vote on the same measure [JURIST article] on Thursday. The resolution was widely supported by Republicans, with only 9 Republican senators voting against it. House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed his belief that immediate action to repeal Obamacare was necessary saying, “[w]e have to step in before things get worse. This is nothing short of a rescue mission.” Despite heavy support from Republicans in the House, the measure was extremely disfavored by Democrats – no Democrat voted for the initiative. Republicans hope to simultaneously create and enact an alternative to Obamacare.
It seems that the ACA, which has sustained challenges since its inception, is destined to be removed from law. On Tuesday the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] filed a motion [JURIST report] to stay a federal court order preventing the federal government from transgender people and women from discrimination in health care, as protected under the ACA. On the same day the Secretary of Health and Human Services [official website] warned [JURIST report] that a repeal of the ACA without an immediate replacement would create a dangerous situation for American healthcare. In May a federal judge ruled in favor [JURIST report] of House Republicans finding that the government had been illegally spending money to fund subsidies under the ACA.