GOP bill guts health law, halts Planned Parenthood cash

Alan Fram
Associated Press

Washington — Republicans pushed legislation toward House passage on Friday that would erase key components of President Barack Obama’s health care law, block federal payments to Planned Parenthood and face certain veto from President Barack Obama — should it ever reach him.

The bill aims squarely at two favorite targets of conservatives. And Republicans have wrapped it in a procedure that would shield it from a Democratic Senate filibuster — meaning it will need only 51 votes to pass that chamber.

But even attaining that margin is uncertain in the GOP-run Senate. The bill faces potential opposition there from moderate Republicans concerned it goes too far and GOP senators running for president saying it doesn’t go far enough.

Even if a version makes it through the Senate, Obama has promised a veto.

Republicans feel that forcing the president to kill the measure would help them sharpen their political differences with Democrats for next year’s elections.

The legislation would eliminate the health law’s requirements that most people who don’t have employer-provided health coverage buy individual policies, and that most companies provide medical insurance.

It also prevents Planned Parenthood from getting federal money for a year — the GOP reaction to secretly recorded tapes that showed the group’s officials describing how they sometimes provide researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses.