House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move

The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE’s key ObamaCare moves, advancing a bill that Democrats have framed as protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Passed in a largely party-line vote of 230-183, the bill seeks to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain ObamaCare rules.

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Republicans argued that Democrats were simply trying to score political points with a bill that did not actually add new protections for people with preexisting conditions. Democrats, meanwhile, said that the legislation was needed to fight Trump’s efforts to weaken the health law’s current protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Four Republicans voted with Democrats for the bill, including Reps. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoStudent loan borrowers are defaulting yearly — how can we fix it? Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker House approves amendment to reverse transgender military ban MORE (N.Y) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Al Green says impeachment is 'only solution' to Trump's rhetoric House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour MORE (Pa.), who face potentially tough reelection races next year, and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour House calls for investigation into whether Pentagon tried to weaponize ticks MORE (N.J.).

Democrats have put forward a range of bills they frame as protecting people with preexisting conditions, looking to hammer Republicans on an issue that helped Democrats win back the House last year.

Democrats say the move announced by the Trump administration last year allows states to cast aside important protections under ObamaCare.

For example, the new guidance would allow ObamaCare subsidies to be used to buy cheaper plans, which Democrats deride as “junk” plans, that do not have to cover preexisting conditions.

“This legislation should not be necessary, but unfortunately the Trump Administration continues to take actions that undermine the health care of millions of Americans, including the more than 133 million people with pre-existing conditions,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Overnight Energy: USDA expected to lose two-thirds of research staff in move west | EPA hails Trump's work on reducing air pollution | Agency eyes reducing inspections of nuclear reactors Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (D-N.J.).

Republicans, though, said the Trump administration’s action was simply giving states more flexibility.

“They claim their agenda is ‘for the people,’” said Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenOvernight Energy: EPA expands use of pesticide it considers 'highly toxic' to bees | House passes defense bill with measure targeting 'forever chemicals' | Five things to watch as Barry barrels through the Gulf House passes bill to crack down on toxic 'forever chemicals' Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker MORE (Ore.), the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Well, this bill is ‘for the politics.’”

“Let me be very clear: This bill has nothing to do with protecting Americans with preexisting conditions,” he added. “This bill has everything to do with eliminating health care options and choices for states.”

The bill is not expected to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The House will vote on additional health care legislation next week that includes measures to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of cheaper, skimpier insurance plans and to provide funding for enrollment outreach efforts that Trump slashed.