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Another week, another vote (or two) to defund health reform

After the GOP effort to repeal health reform died in the Senate, Republican lawmakers have adopted a more piecemeal approach. There were not one, but two votes scheduled in the House this week to defund parts of health reform.

One bill would repeal funding from the health care law for states to establish insurance exchanges. Now, under the reform law, states don’t have to set up exchanges– if a state chooses not to set up an exchange, then the Health and Human Services Department is required to step in and do it for them. If the funding for helping states establish exchanges is repealed, according to the CBO, “the federal government will be required to take responsibility for setting up exchanges in more states than is expected under current law.” In other words, as The Fiscal Times’ Merrill Goozner points out, “it would promote the federal takeover of health care, something Republicans have consistently opposed on the campaign trail.”

The other bill would repeal funding for school-based health center construction.

In any event, there’s little chance either bill will become law with Democrats controlling the presidency and the Senate. Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has even admitted that health care repeal is “dead” saying:

“I’m not really interested in just laying down more markers. I’d rather have the committee working with the Senate and the president, focusing on savings and reforms that can be signed into law.”

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