The GOP-House voted Tuesday evening to fully repeal Obamacare, sending the bill to a Republican Senate that seems likely to at least try to pass it in the coming weeks.
There was little doubt the bill could pass in a House with a stronger Republican majority, and it passed easily 239-186.
Republicans have held full Obamacare repeal votes in every session of Congress, and have won the support of just a few Democrats. This time around, no Democrats voted with Republicans, and three Republicans voted against the bill: Reps. Bob Dold (Ill.), John Katko (N.Y.), and Bruce Poliquin (Maine).
The debate and vote gave both parties a chance to run through their usual arguments for and against the law. Republicans said said the law is leading to higher healthcare costs and less choice for Americans who have seen many of their insurance plans canceled because they don't meet new standards under the law.
Republicans also said a repeal is needed so Congress can start over and build a new reform plan that gives people more choice.
"We need a new system," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). "We need a system that puts the patients first, one that controls costs through competition, and expands coverage by choice, not coercion."
But Democrats said Republicans have so far fallen short of their claim to bring up new health care ideas. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said Republicans asked committees a few years ago to come up with alternatives, but came up with no comprehensive plan.
"The Republicans say that they have some kind of… what did my colleagues say, the GOP has no shortage of good ideas? What ideas?," Pallone asked.
The main difference in the vote this year is that House passage sends the bill to a GOP Senate that will make some effort to call it up. For the last several years, the Democratic Senate has ignored these House bills.
Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and dozens of other Republicans proposed their own Obamacare repeal bill in the hopes of finally getting somewhere in the upper chamber.
But Democrats are already showing why the GOP majority in the Senate doesn't mean Republicans can do whatever they want. Sixty votes are needed to advance bills in the Senate, and Democrats on Tuesday successfully blocked a bill to defund President Barack Obama's immigration plans.