Washington Update

House of Representatives Votes to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

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The House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 37th time. The 37th effort to dismantle the act passed 229 to 195. All Republicans voted for the repeal, and two Democrats voted with the Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters that while some have characterized the House’s repeated votes to repeal the law as a waste of time, Republicans have no intention of stopping until the law is repealed. Democrats have complained about the repeated efforts. “Albert Einstein defined insanity as follows: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the Senate floor. “If his definition is true–and I won’t argue with Einstein– then House Republicans have truly lost their minds.”

In a related matter, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that it would not score (determine the fiscal impact of) the legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to [provide a cost estimate],” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in a letter to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). However, the CBO noted in the letter that it found in July 2012 that repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase budget deficits by $109 billion over the next decade.

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