President Barack Obama said Wednesday he has been “heartbroken” by Republican efforts to dismantle his landmark health care law, calling the effort a “terrible mistake” that “will never happen again.”
The president, speaking at the University of California at Davis, called it a “dangerous move” to dismantle Obama’s signature health care policy that helped millions of Americans.
The president’s comments came as GOP leaders in Congress plan to vote next week on the Republican-backed House bill that would repeal Obamacare’s taxes, regulations and Medicaid expansion, and replace it with a more conservative approach.
Republicans have vowed to repeal the law by the end of the year.
The House bill would repeal the taxes, roll back the Medicaid expansion and eliminate federal payments for the insurance programs for the poor, disabled and people with pre-existing conditions.
The Senate bill would expand coverage for millions of people with preexisting conditions and end subsidies for those buying insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
Republicans are also pushing to dismantle the health law’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The expansion is set to phase out in 2020.
Republicans also are seeking to repeal much of Obama’s landmark 2010 health care overhaul, which has been a hallmark of the administration.
The Republican-led House on Wednesday voted to advance the legislation to send it to the Senate, setting up the next major test for Obama’s successor as he seeks to sign it into law.
The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.
The measure would repeal key provisions of the law, including the taxes and regulations that help finance the Affordable Health Care Act, and the Medicaid Expansion.
It would also cut federal spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The measure also would roll back protections for people with certain pre-existing conditions.
Democrats, who control the Senate and House, have said they would work to block the bill from moving forward.
Republicans in the House and Senate have pledged to use their votes to block Obama’s legislation.
But Obama told the University at Davis that his administration has not changed its approach to the health care legislation.
He called the Senate bill “a horrible mistake” because it will never happen twice.
The repeal and replacement bill would not include a single replacement for the ACA’s taxes and mandates, he said.
The GOP-led Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week, while the House has not yet made a decision.
The President also criticized GOP lawmakers who have called for the repeal of Obama-era health law.
The GOP-controlled House voted Wednesday to pass the House bill, but Republicans have not yet taken up the Senate’s version.