Fact Check: Rep. Larry Kissell Voted Against the Repeal of Obamacare

In March of 2010, the misleadingly titled Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, passed Congress. At the time, Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC) voted against the bill. Unfortunately, to this day, he has not supported fully repealing the bill despite having multiple opportunities to do so, even as he tries to appease his conservative-leaning district by claiming he will now vote to fully repeal the law:

“‘I’ve heard from hundreds and hundreds of people from my district about their opposition to the health care law,’ Kissell told the Observer Monday. ‘I voted against it originally and I will vote to repeal it.’

But is that the whole truth?

It’s true that Rep. Kissell voted against both the motion to concur with the Senate’s amendments and the reconciliation act, the two legislative vehicles which gave us Obamacare, but he has never voted for full repeal or signaled he would vote for the full repeal…until now, an election year.

He had his first opportunity to support fully repealing the law in June 2010, when Congressman  Steve King (R-IA) introduced Discharge Petition #11, which would have forced the House to vote on the full repeal of Obamacare. Even though 173 Members of Congress, including a Democrat, signed onto the petition, Rep. Kissell refused to do so.

In January, 2011, Rep. Kissell would get another opportunity to do the will of his constituents and fully repeal Obamacare. Not surprisingly, he took another pass at this time. Two-hundred and forty-five Members of the House of Representatives (including 3 Democrats) voted to fully repeal Obamacare. Rep. Kissell was not one of them.

Rep. Kissell released a statement on the day of the full repeal vote saying in part:

“This law is not perfect.  There are elements within it that are beneficial as well as elements that still seriously concern me. We have a choice: we can look backward and have the same fight all over again, or we can move forward determined to make things better and focus on our economy. I choose to look forward and work to make things better.”

Even though a majority of his constituents support full repeal, Rep. Kissell accepted Obamacare as the law of the land. But now that he is facing a tough re-election in a North Carolina district that has grown more conservative due to redistricting, he is trying to appear as though he is with them and supports the full repeal of Obamacare.

Residents of his district should not be fooled, and, according to Dianna Bingle, the chairwoman of the Cabarrus Republican Women, they are not. She told Heritage Action that Rep. Kissell “swings the votes whenever he can pander to his more conservative constituents, but we as voters know better.”  She pointed out that “even his weekly letter this week did not mention the Holder vote or Obamacare” because “that letter went to Democrat voters.”

It is clear from his actions that Rep. Kissell is out of touch with his district and has not stood with his constituents in the repeal effort. Mrs. Bingle concluded, “we as constituents continue to put pressure on him through accountability and using the HAFA scorecard, but in this case he is voting right for the wrong reason.”


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