Five Democrats Join GOP to Vote for Full Repeal of ACA

Posted: Jul 11, 2012 3:56 PM

This afternoon, the House of Representatives held a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the vote to get rid of the bill was more bipartisan than the vote to pass it in the first place. Five Democrats joined 139 Republicans to undo President Obama's signature legislative achievement, in what was the second vote the House has held for a full repeal. (As a side note, outlets like the Washington Post and Associated Press have been floating that this is the thirty-third vote to repeal the law, so as to paint the House GOP as obsessively voting every other day for a repeal. However, that number includes thirty-one votes on small pieces of the law; this vote constitutes the second time the House has put the law up for a full repeal, just so everyone has that straight.)

One such Democrat, reports The Hill's Russel Berman via Twitter, was Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, who opposed the last measure for a full repeal of the unpopular law. He's facing a formidable challenger in Mia Love for his reelection bid (although he has a comfortable lead in the polls at the moment), and likely viewed this as a way of appeasing his purple district. (As an aside, he was also the first Democrat to side with the GOP to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.)

Regardless, the House's vote now goes to die in the Senate, where Harry Reid won't pick up the measure in the upper chamber. Instead, this was a largely symbolic measure, hammering home the Republicans' determination to get rid of it. Furthermore, it forces the Democrats to defend their support of a law that the public decidedly opposes: in the latest Rasmussen poll, 53% of voters want the Affordable Care Act repealed in full. Now that the law has been labeled a tax hike, the left will ostensibly have a harder time touting its merits; we'll see if this vote -- and its support from a few Democrats -- gets any attention from Obama himself.

Just remember: five more Democrats voted to repeal the law than Republicans voted to pass the bill in the first place. Obama wants bipartisanship? There he has it.