WASHINGTON — All three U.S. House members from Utah, including Democrat Jim Matheson, voted Wednesday to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law.
The 244-185 vote was largely symbolic because the Democratic-controlled Senate will not follow suit. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a ruling last month.
Matheson, one of five Democrats voting for the repeal, said it's time to scrap the law and start over with a bipartisan approach.
"Plain and simple, the bill is a flawed effort that fails to address the critical issue of rising health costs," he said. "While increased access to health care coverage is an important objective, that goal alone does not provide the reforms that are needed to lower costs and ultimately create a sustainable health care system for all Americans."
This is the second time the House has voted to repeal the health care overhaul. The House has voted more than 30 times to repeal part or all of the act or its funding sources. Matheson voted against the repeal the last time, January 2011.
Matheson's Republican challenger Mia Love was quick to praise House Republicans and criticize Matheson.
"As expected, Jim Matheson once again made a vote of political expediency. In early 2011, Matheson showed his true colors and voted against repealing Obamacare when the political ramifications were minimal," she said.
Matheson said since the Supreme Court ruled, it is important to the broader discussion on health care reform to resolve the constitutional issues surrounding the law. He said he agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts that it is now the role of Congress to weigh its legislative merits.
Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz also voted Wednesday to repeal the health care law.
Bishop called it one of the most egregious examples of federal overreach and said he would continue to push for repeal "until we restore the ability of all Americans to choose how to best address their individual health care needs."