House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday's vote to repeal the 2010 healthcare law is "another chance" for the Senate to listen to voters who broadly oppose the law.
"This law continues to make our economy worse, and there is even more resolve to see that it is fully repealed," Boehner said on the House floor, just a few hours before the House was scheduled to vote on the repeal bill, H.R. 6079.
"For all of us, it's an opportunity for us to do the right thing for our country," Boehner said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday filed an amendment to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McConnell's amendment, attached to a Senate small business tax bill, is essentially identical to the GOP House measure to be voted on today.
But Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has made it clear he is unlikely to allow a vote.
Like other Republicans, Boehner said repeal is necessary because none of the positive outcomes that Democrats promised would result under the bill have happened over the last two years.
"When this bill passed, we were promised the healthcare law would lower costs to help create jobs," Boehner said. "One congressional leader even suggested it would create 400,000 new jobs.
"Well guess what? It didn't happen. This bill is making our economy worse, driving up the cost of healthcare, and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers."
He also said Democratic promises that people would come to like the law have also been broken.
"That didn't happen either," Boehner said. "Most Americans not only oppose this law, but they fully support repealing it."
He cited studies showing that the various taxes in the bill would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, and said the health insurance mandate would slow hiring.
"You add it all up, the tax increases in this healthcare law will take at least $675 billion out of our pockets over the next 10 years," he said. "All this at a time when employers are just trying to get by."
Boehner was followed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said with today's vote, Republicans were trying to take away health benefits for millions of Americans, including seniors and children. She also cited opposition to repeal from groups that support some people who need this care.
"With this bill you have on the floor today, you will take away affordable coverage, and that's why the American Cancer Society opposes this repeal effort," she said.
She also sought to cast the vote as one that would take away benefits from millions of Americans, but not from members of Congress.
"I think that that's an undermining of fundamental fairness," Pelosi said. "You repeal this bill, which means you keep your federal health insurance benefits, while you take these current patient protections away from the American people. What a valentine to the health insurance industry."