Health | Politics

Republican-controlled House votes to repeal law including IHCIA





The Republican-controlled House voted 245 to 189 on Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which includes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

All 242 Republicans were joined by three Democrats in the vote. Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma), whose district includes a significant number of Native Americans, said a "majority" of his constituents oppose the health care reform law.

"However, when taken as a whole, the health care legislation adds far too many taxes, mandates, and regulations that burden Oklahoma families and prevent our nation’s job creators from producing the kind of economic growth that is sorely needed," Boren said in a press release.

The House vote is seen as symbolic because the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't expected to repeal. But the Obama administration and Democrats still attacked the effort.

“The Affordable Care Act is a vital tool for Native American communities that are working to improve quality of life, overcome health care disparities, and improve wellness and health in Indian Country,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in press release. “A vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act would only turn back the clock on the real progress we are making toward ensuring that Native Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.”

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), the new ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee echoed those sentiments. His committee has jurisdiction over Indian issues.

"Rolling back these health care reforms would be a serious setback for the health of American Indian communities everywhere," Markey said in a press release. "Native American communities need more health care, not less, and the Republican efforts to take away patient rights will affect millions of our citizens, neighbors, friends and family members."

Congress passed the H.R.3692, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, in March 2010. A permanent authorization of the IHCIA was added to the bill in late 2009.

Get the Story:
House passes health repeal (The Washington Post 1/20)
House Votes for Repeal of Health Law in Symbolic Act (The New York Times 1/20)

Related Stories:
Republican wants to repeal health law except for IHCIA portions (10/21)