House to vote next week on intervening to defend ObamaCare in court

The House will hold a vote next week on intervening to defend ObamaCare in court against a GOP-led lawsuit, which Democrats hope will be a tough vote for many Republicans.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (D-Calif.) said the vote on having the House formally intervene in court to defend ObamaCare will come next week, in addition to a vote on Thursday on intervening in the lawsuit as part of the larger package of rules for the new session of Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT

Holding the separate additional vote next week will put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on vulnerable GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Democrats say if GOP lawmakers vote against defending ObamaCare, they will be showing that they don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions contained in the health law.

“After two years of brutal attacks on health care and desperate GOP misrepresentations on the campaign trail, we’re not giving Republicans anywhere to hide,” said Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman. “Republicans who survived the election on their tardy promises to protect pre-existing conditions will have to explain why they have once again been complicit in trying to strike down those life-saving protections.”  

The lawsuit in question was filed last year by 20 GOP-led states, seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. A federal judge in Texas last month ruled in the GOP-led states’ favor, saying ObamaCare is invalid, though the ruling does not take effect while it is appealed.

Legal experts in both parties do not expect the lawsuit to ultimately succeed, but the issue is handing Democrats a weapon and putting some Republicans in a tough position over popular pre-existing condition protections.