Republicans in Congress are touting a bid to make President Obama veto a bill that guts the Affordable Care Act and stops federal funding from going to Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., highlighted the bill in the GOP's weekly address Saturday. Hartzler argued the bill, which defunds parts of the healthcare law and ends requirements that individuals and businesses buy health insurance "would be a significant improvement to our health care system."
The Republican-dominated House is expected to pass the bill next week.
The legislation combines measures congressional Republicans have unsuccessfully pushed in the past. The White House has promised to veto the bill, leaving it with no real chance of enactment.
House GOP leaders hope the measure instead has symbolic value. Stung by conservative criticism for agreeing last year to a spending deal that funded the healthcare law and Planned Parenthood, Republican leaders aim to use the first big bill of the new year to remind conservative supporters they are not forgotten.
Hartzler said the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, forces people to buy more expensive insurance and burdens employers who are required to offer health insurance.
"If we want to make health insurance more affordable, we should make the insurance companies compete for your business," she said. "This doesn't mean we should force people to buy insurance, it means the exact opposite."
The bill repeals the individual mandate, which imposes penalties on people who do not buy health insurance and don't meet criteria for exceptions. It also eliminates the requirement that employers offer their employees health insurance.
It would also end many of the "Obamacare taxes," as Hartzler called them, on prescription drugs and medical devices.
"They never should have been taxed in the first place," she said.
The bill would also stop federal funding from going to abortion providers, namely Planned Parenthood. It would direct those funds to community health centers.
Hartzler said the bill will bypass Democrats in the Senate, who could block the bill, by using the reconciliation process. The process allows measures to pass in Senate with a simple majority of votes. That means Senate Democrats could not filibuster the bill.
Republicans can send the bill to President Obama's desk Hartzler said, giving him a choice.
"Does he support the people and women's health, or does he support Washington mandates and tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood?" she asked.