House Votes to Repeal Health Care Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. ( TheStreet) -- With the Republicans in control, the House of Representatives took aim at ObamaCare late Wednesday.

A bill to repeal the sweeping health care reform legislation championed by the president passed the House by a vote of 245 to 189. All 242 Republican representatives voted in favor of the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" and three Democrats crossed the aisle to join them.

The bill is not expected to make it past the Senate, however, because the Democrats still maintain a 51-47 majority there (with one independent and one independent Democrat rounding out the 100 seats.)

Health care reform was a major plank in Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency, and the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" was signed into law by the president in March 2010. Among its provisions are expanded Medicare eligibility and benefits and assurances that citizens with preexisting conditions won't be penalized when seeking health insurance.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio spoke Wednesday on the floor about why he's in favor of repealing the legislation, saying that even the president acknowledges the law isn't ideal. The main Republican criticism of the legislation has been the tax hikes necessary to enact it, which the GOP has contended have prevented the industry from expanding hiring.

"If we agree this law needs improving, why would we keep it on the books?" he asked in his speech before going on later to make a plea to members of Congress that's likely to fall on deaf ears with Democrats in the Senate. "Let's challenge ourselves to do better."

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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