* Mostly party-line vote expected by 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT
* Democratic Senate certain to prevent repeal
* Both sides jockey for position for Nov. 6 elections
By Thomas Ferraro and Donna Smith
WASHINGTON, July 11 The Republican-led U.S.
House of Representatives headed toward a symbolic and mostly
party-line vote on Wednesday to repeal President Barack Obama's
overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.
With both sides jockeying for position in the Nov. 6
elections, the House was certain to pass a bill to end the
2-year-old healthcare law. And the Democratic-led Senate was
just as certain to reject the bill and allow the law to stand.
The House was set to end two days of often spirited debate
by 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) and begin a roll call vote.
Most, if not all, Republicans were expected to back repeal.
At least a few Democrats were expected to vote to repeal the law
as well, but the vast majority appeared ready to stand with
The vote will mark at the 33rd time by the Republicans'
latest count that the House has passed a bill to defund or
repeal portions of the law or the entire Affordable Care Act, as
the law is called.
Democratic Representative Jim McDermott mocked Republicans,
declaring: "As a psychiatrist, I'm qualified to say this: One
definition of insanity is doing the same than over and over
again and expecting a different result."
House Speaker John Boehner and fellow Republicans scheduled
the vote after a divided U.S. Supreme Court disappointed
conservatives last month and upheld the law, which expands
coverage and requires most Americans to obtain health insurance
or face a tax penalty.
Voter dissatisfaction with the law helped Republicans win
the House in the 2010 elections, and they hope it can give them
a boost again this year. But Democrats are fighting back, buoyed
by the Supreme Court ruling.
The House Democratic campaign committee has begun offering
bumper stickers that read: "Dear John Boehner. It's
constitutional. Get over it."
But House Republicans remained on the offensive.
"Obamacare's new regulations, taxes and mandates are crushing
our already weak economy," said Republican Representative Diane
Public support for the healthcare law, despite some
fluctuation, is divided just as it was in 2010. Neither side has
made significant lasting headway.
Some recent polling has suggested that the law is of low
importance to voters compared to other issues, such as the
struggling U.S. economy.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll published Tuesday showed
more voters than in the past saying the healthcare law will not
be a factor when they cast their vote in November.
Another poll - a Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken after
the Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality l ate last
month - found that 51 percent of independents and 82 percent of
Democrats said opponents should move on to other issues.
But 69 percent of Republican respondents said they want to
see efforts continued to roll back the law.
(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Fred Barbash)