After House Vote, What's Next for Health Care Law Repeal?

Probably nothing.

The House voted on repealing the health care overhaul tonight, and, with Republicans in the majority, there was little chance for Democrats to stop them. Repeal passed.

But, as has always been the case, Republicans even now stand little chance of actually repealing the 1,016-page law signed by President Obama in March.

In order for the health care law to be repealed, Obama would have to sign the Republicans' repeal legislation, a two-paragraph bill that strikes down the new law. There is no indication that Obama would sign it.

It's also unlikely that the Senate will ever vote on repeal. Democrats control the Senate and, along with it, which bills see the light of day. A Democratic Senate leadership aide confirmed today that there is zero chance Democratic leaders will call this bill up for a vote, ever.

So, legislatively, repeal will hit a dead end if it clears the House.

Politically, on the other hand...expect House Republicans to celebrate making good on a campaign promise to do all they could to repeal the bill. On Wednesday, the GOP's House campaign arm had already blasted an e-mail out to supporters saying "We Kept Our Promise" and raising money off tonight's vote. The liberal Public Campaign Action Fund, meanwhile, will release a TV ad attacking Republicans soon after the vote.

Health care can resurface as a campaign issue, both because 1) it's Obama's signature policy initiative, and he will have to defend it in the 2012 White House race, and 2) because if Republicans take the Senate and White House in 2012, it's possible they will repeal health care--that this bill will pass in the next Congress, and that a Republican president will sign it.

So, after tonight's vote, repeal will hit the back-burner in Congress, transferring all of its weight onto the platform of campaign politics.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Politics

Just In