Health Care Repeal Fails in the Senate

An effort by Senate Republicans to repeal health care reform was defeated on Wednesday -- which means the Supreme Court will likely decide the law's fate.

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The Huffington Post reports:

A Republican drive to repeal the year-old health care law ended in party-line defeat in the Senate on Wednesday, leaving the Supreme Court to render a final, unpredictable verdict on an issue steeped in political and constitutional controversy. The vote was 47-51. Moments earlier, the Senate agreed to make one relatively minor change in the law, voting to strip out a paperwork requirement for businesses.

President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto any total repeal of his signature legislative accomplishment, has said he would accept the change. It does not directly affect health care.

Republicans conceded in advance their attempt at total repeal would fall short, but they accomplished an objective of forcing rank and file Democrats to take a position on an issue that reverberated in the 2010 campaign and may play a role in 2012.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the Republican repeal movement would have given insurance companies the right to use asthma or diabetes as an excuse to take away children's care, kick kids off their parents' health insurance and take away seniors' rights to a free wellness check.

Today's news is good for sick kids and the elderly, but the battle is far from over. Whether health care survives as is will now be decided by the courts instead of Congress. We'd love to say this means the decision will based on what's best for Americans instead of on predictable partisan divides, but you know how things go at the SCOTUS: People are already predicting a close decision of 5-4 in favor of upholding it.

Read more at the Huffington Post.