The new Republican-controlled House of Representatives moved one step closer to fulfilling a campaign pledge to repeal President Obama's health care law.
Friday's 236-181 vote to open the debate was mostly along party lines, and it sets the stage for a simple up-or-down vote next week.
Republicans want to repeal what they call "the job-killing" law as if it were never enacted, arguing that it will add to the national debt.
Democrats, on the other hand, say a repeal would deny important provisions Americans already depend on.
"This Republican bill has had no public hearings, no committee consideration, and is not paid for," Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said.
"Only in Washington, D.C., could a Congress vote to repeal a $2.7 trillion government takeover of health care, and the minority says it costs the American people money," Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said.
The final vote is scheduled Wednesday, Jan. 12.
--Originally pubished Jan. 7, 2011.