3 GOP Votes Against Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood and Repeal Obamacare, 1 Democrat Vote for It

By Lauretta Brown | January 7, 2016 | 5:03pm EST

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – Three House Republicans on Wednesday voted against the reconciliation bill that would defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare while one Democrat voted for it. The bill passed the House of Representatives 240-181.

Republican Representatives Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), and John Katko (R-N.Y.) broke ranks with 239 of their Republican colleagues and opposed the bill while Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the only House Democrat to vote for the bill.    

The Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762) ends federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year by prohibiting Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood services.

Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) (AP)

The bill also goes after key features of the Affordable Care Act, including repealing the individual and employer mandates, stripping the government of authority to run Obamacare exchanges, and eliminating taxes on medical devices and the “Cadillac tax” on expensive healthcare plans.

Rep. Bob Dold explained his opposition to the reconciliation bill in a statement to CNSNews.com.

"Among the issues that I believe Congress must urgently address are the rising premiums and deductibles under the Affordable Care Act, along with the law’s massive and unacceptable cuts to Medicare programs,” he said.  

“I have always maintained that the Affordable Care Act was the wrong approach for America’s healthcare system and opposed its passage from the start,” said Dold. “However, casting yet another symbolic vote for full repeal of the law, without any replacement legislation, simply distracts us from the work that must be done to drive costs down, restore access to care, and make healthcare work for everyone.”

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (AP)

Dold did not comment on the reconciliation bill’s defunding of Planned Parenthood. He has described himself as a “pro-choice Republican” in the past and introduced legislation in 2012 to protect funds that Planned Parenthood receives through Title X.

Rep. Richard Hanna released a statement Wednesday explaining his no vote.

“I firmly believe that Obamacare was hastily developed, ideologically driven, and has fundamentally failed to fix our broken healthcare system. That is why I have voted more than 60 times to repeal it,” he wrote. “However, the outcome this evening will be no different. The President will veto this bill and it will not become law.”

“It is a political vote that will accomplish nothing,” said Hanna.  “Instead, it is time we start focusing on practical solutions that replace the law with reforms that will bring down costs, improve access to care and improve outcomes.” 

“In addition, I continue to oppose efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and deny millions of Americans the right to see the doctor of their choice,” Hanna continued.

“More than 2.7 million women and men rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care each year,” he said.  “Nearly 2.1 million have received family planning counseling and birth control, which has been proven to reduce abortions.”

Rep. John Katko’s vote likely goes back to his 2014 campaign promise that he would not vote to repeal Obamacare unless there was a plan to replace it as well.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)  (AP)

“I have long recognized that this law needs a major overhaul or complete replacement,’’ he said in a statement to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “I know that families and businesses in Central New York have seen their premiums and deductibles rise and that local employers have been forced to scale back hours and insurance for their employees. That’s why I will continue to work in Congress to reverse the misguided policies of this law.”

Katko noted to the Democrat and Chronicle that he supported successful efforts in Congress to delay for two years the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac” tax on and its tax on medical devices. He also said that he has supported past efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Katko did not respond to CNSNews.com’s requests for comment on his vote by press time.

Rep. Collin Peterson has a consistent pro-life voting record, according to Democrats for Life and was described by the National Review as one of just three “pro-life Democrats.”

Peterson did not respond to CNSNews.com’s request for comment by press time.  

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