"When you order every American to buy health insurance whether they want it, need it or not, that's a government takeover of healthcare," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, on the floor.
"Really? Who is taking over what health care plan? Who? We are offering people tax incentives, small businesses tax incentives to go buy private insurance plans," answered Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York.
But a tentative agreement to tone down the rhetoric was shattered when one Democrat likened Republican claims about the law to Nazi propaganda.
"You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually people believe it," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee. "The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it and you had the Holocaust."
The most vocal critics of the law were the dozens of new Republican members who made repeal a top campaign promise.
"The people of Indiana sent me to Washington D.C. with very specific instructions: get the government out of our lives," said Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana.
Democrats called the repeal vote pure politics.
"If the American people want us to work together, this is not the way to do it. If there is a problem with the bill we should tweak it!" said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York.
Republicans say tweaks aren't enough and tomorrow they begin drafting replacement legislation. But as long as Democrats control the Senate, neither the repeal nor the replacement have any chance of becoming law.