Senate Rejects Health Law Repeal But Approves Amendment To Undo 1099 Provision

Senate Democrats successfully fought back an GOP-led effort to repeal the health law. News outlets report, though, that the Senate vote could not only help influence the courts’ consideration of challenges to the law, but also be a factor “on the long March” to elections in 2012. In addition, though the Senate blocked the push for a broad repeal of reform, the chamber did approve a measure to delete a reporting provision in the law that triggered significant opposition from the business community.    

The Washington Post: Senate Rejects Repeal Of Health-Care Law As Fight Shifts To Court
On Capitol Hill, the battle over the health-care overhaul law has become a kind of scripted political theater. On Wednesday, Republicans in the Senate tried to repeal the law, as expected. Democrats had the votes to beat them, as expected. But now, the legal fight over the law threatens to overshadow the drama that Washington has been rehearsing (Fahrenthold and Aizenman, 2/3).

The Associated Press: GOP: Repeal Defeat Is Step Toward Victory In 2012
To hear Senate Republicans tell it, the defeat of their attempt to repeal the Democrats’ health care overhaul was really a victory of sorts on the long the march to the 2012 congressional and presidential elections. The repeal effort sank Wednesday along party lines. … But in the process, Republicans forced Democrats on the record in favor of President Barack Obama’s signature overhaul and launched what they described as a two-year effort to discredit it in the lead-up to a bid for a second term (Kellman, 2/3).

USA Today: GOP Senators’ Effort Fails To Repeal Health Care Law
An effort Wednesday by Republican senators to repeal last year’s health care law failed as expected, but some political watchers say the vote may help influence the courts that will ultimately decide the law’s fate (Kennedy, 2/3).

The Hill: GOP Plans ‘Unrelenting’ Repeal Effort, Even After Senate Defeat
Senate Republicans have vowed a sustained, unrelenting push to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law, despite falling short in their first effort Wednesday. Republicans say they are not content to wait idly until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the health care law in 2012 or later (Bolton, 2/3).

Reuters: U.S. Senate Rejects Bid To Repeal Health Care Law
President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked a Republican bid on Wednesday to repeal his health care overhaul, a year-old law whose ultimate fate likely rests with the U.S. Supreme Court. On a party-line vote of 51-47, the Senate rejected a Republican measure to rescind the law that aims to provide more than 30 million uninsured Americans with medical coverage while requiring nearly all to be insured or pay a fine. Sixty votes were needed to clear a procedural hurdle against repeal (Smith and Ferraro, 2/2).

The New York Times: Senate Rejects Repeal Of Health Care Law
Senate Democrats on Wednesday defeated a bid by Republicans to repeal last year’s sweeping health care overhaul, as they successfully mounted a party-line defense of President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement (Herszenhorn, 2/2).

Los Angeles Times: Senate Rejects GOP-Led Bid To Repeal Health Care Law
Senate Democrats on Wednesday turned aside a bid by Republicans to repeal the new health care law, in the first Senate test of the sweeping overhaul that President Obama signed in March. The 47-51 party-line vote on a procedural motion came two weeks after House Republicans pushed a repeal resolution through that chamber (Levey, 2/2).

The Wall Street Journal: Senate Votes Down Health Care Repeal
The Senate on Wednesday voted against repealing the health-care overhaul but approved a measure eliminating a tax requirement that had irked small businesses. In a debate reshaped by this week’s court strike against the law, the Senate voted 51-47 against repeal. All of the chamber’s Democrats who were present and one independent who caucuses with them voted against it, and every Republican voted for it. The measure, which Republicans tacked on to an unrelated aviation bill, had been expected to fail (Adamy, 2/3).

Bloomberg: Democrats In U.S. Senate Thwart Republican Bid To Repeal Health Care Law
The 2010 overhaul, which would expand health insurance coverage to another 32 million Americans, is President Barack Obama’s biggest domestic achievement. Republicans campaigned against it in last year’s elections as an unwarranted expansion of government and cite the issue as a major reason they won the House majority and picked up six Senate seats. Republican leaders vowed to continue bringing up measures designed to dismantle the law, contending that over time they can force the wall of Democratic support for it to crumble (Litvan, 2/2).

McClatchy: Senate Rejects GOP Bid To Repeal Health Care Law
The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Republican effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, a vote likely to reverberate politically, as both sides used the debate to make partisan points they see boosting them for 2012 elections. The final vote was 51-47 against repeal, which needed 60 votes to pass. The outcome was no surprise, since Democrats control 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and none supported repeal. But the two days of partisan bickering over the measure underscored how this issue continues to dominate political discussion and is likely to for some time. The Senate did agree to one change Wednesday, voting 81 to 17 to repeal a paperwork requirement that business interests found chafing (Lightman, 2/2).

Detroit Free Press: Senate Votes In Favor Of Measure To Remove Provision From Health Care Reform Bill
The U.S. Senate voted 81-17 in favor of a measure that removes from last year’s health care reform bill a provision that businesses complained would swamp them in paperwork beginning next year. The so-called 1099 provision would require businesses to file tax forms listing every purchase they make over $600 — in what was initially seen as a way to make sure company vendors were reporting their actual income. But businesses — especially small business owners — complained it would mean tons of additional paperwork they’d have to send each year to the Internal Revenue Service. Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, sponsored the amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration bill that strips the provision — which would go into effect next year — from the law (Spangler, 2/2).

Modern Healthcare: Senate Rejects Reform Repeal; Measure To Kill 1099 Provision OK’d
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican-sponsored amendment to repeal last year’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had introduced the amendment, a measure that was identical to the health care reform repeal bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed late last month. Had the Senate amendment passed, it would have been attached to an air traffic safety bill. … One of the law’s mandates that many have found burdensome — the contentious 1099 reporting provision — was the topic of another Senate vote on Wednesday. The Senate voted 81 to 17 to approve Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) amendment to repeal that provision in the law, which requires American businesses to file a form with the Internal Revenue Service for every vendor with which they conduct transactions worth $600 or more (Zigmond, 2/2).

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