In a widely expected move, President Obama vetoed a bill that would gut major pillars of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
The bill was the first to reach the president that would have repealed his signature domestic achievement. Republicans used a process called reconciliation that allowed them to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.
The bill passed both the GOP-controlled House and Senate on largely partisan votes, neither of which was enough to override Obama's Friday veto. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the chamber would hold an override vote.
In vetoing the bill, Obama said since the healthcare law took effect, more than 17 million Americans have gotten coverage.
"Healthcare has changed for the better, setting this country on a smarter, stronger course," he said.
Obama added that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the bill would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million after 2017. "This legislation would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve," he said.
The bill also would strip Planned Parenthood of roughly $500 million in annual federal funds, a response to a recent undercover video scandal surrounding the women's health and abortion provider. A series of videos documented Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of aborted fetal body parts and compensation for their donation.
Planned Parenthood has repeatedly said it did not break any laws. It is illegal for the organization to profit from the sale of such fetal tissue, but Planned Parenthood claimed it was just reimbursed for costs such as transporation.
Republicans said the eventual defeat wasn't the point of the reconciliation bill. It was partly to show that they can repeal Obamacare should a Republican win the White House this year.
"With a Republican president there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without needing 60 votes in the United States Senate," Ryan said said during a signing ceremony Thursday.
Now discussion will turn to whether Republicans can put together a replacement plan for Obamacare. Republicans said Thursday they aim to pursue patient-centered and common-sense reforms.
• This article, originally published at 12:11 p.m., has been updated.