House GOP vote to defund health reform

The House of Representatives voted on Friday to cut off funding for the healthcare reform law, the Associated Press reports.

The 239 to 187 vote was the GOP's latest effort to weaken the Obama administration's biggest domestic initiative.

The vote was also part of a sweeping package of budget cuts that slashes spending in every federal budget category outside of defense or "entitlement" spending, the Los Angeles Times reports.

When he introduced the amendment--which prevents government funds from being used to implement the healthcare reform law--Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) said Republicans would work to "defund Obamacare one piece at a time," while continuing to push for a full legislative or judicial repeal of the law, the Washington Post reports.

Democrats said the Republican plan would cut healthcare options and make it harder to pass a budget this year. "Instead of searching for common ground, this amendment intensifies warfare," said Rep. Sander Levin, (D-Mich.), the Wall Street Journal reports.

The spending measure won't have a chance of being enacted into law, because the overhaul has the support of the president and the Democratic-controlled Senate will not agree to block the federal government from spending money on carrying out the health law. The fate of the healthcare reform law will likely be up to the Supreme Court to decide.

In related news, an amendment to eliminate government funding of Planned Parenthood was approved in a 240 to 185 vote.

To learn more:
- see the final vote results on the Rehberg amendment to H.R. 1
- read the New York Times article
- read the Associated Press article
- read the Wall Street Journal article
- read the Washington Post article
- here's the Los Angeles Times article

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