Obama vetoes bill to repeal signature health care law

President Barack Obama speaks during the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Washington. In conjunction with the conference, shoe company and apparel maker Adidas announced it will provide free design resources to schools looking to shelve Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery or symbolism. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Protecting his signature domestic achievement, President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed legislation to repeal his health care law, saying the measure “would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America.”

Republican lawmakers have pushed many repeal measures since 2010, when Obama signed the health care program into law. This was the first of those bills to clear Congress and reach his desk.

Republicans have argued that the law doesn’t work.

In his veto message to Congress, Obama disagreed. Obama said the Affordable Care Act includes fairer rules and stronger consumer protections “that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable and more patient-centered. And it is working.”

The veto was expected. But Republicans claimed victory with the vote, arguing that they met two goals by finally passing a repeal bill: keeping a promise to voters in an election year, and showing that they are capable of repealing the law if a Republican wins November’s presidential election.

The bill would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Senate passed the measure last year under special rules that protected it from a Democratic filibuster, and the House passed it this week.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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