For all the talk by congressional candidates last year of repealing Obamacare, sane observers knew that it was never going to happen in one full court press. From the beginning, this was a process which was going to have to be tackled piecemeal. While court challenges to the government mandate may eventually cut the legs out from under it entirely, other sections have been targeted for a legislative remedy and the first of those is now heading to the president’s desk.

After a months-long battle, the Senate voted Tuesday, 87 to 12, to repeal the 1099 tax-reporting requirement in Democrats’ healthcare reform bill.

The measure now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it, making it the first part of his party’s signature reform bill to be scrapped.

The measure, initially included as a funding measure for the healthcare bill, does away with the requirement for companies to report to the IRS transactions valued at more than $600. While the provision has had few backers in either party, debate over its repeal had dragged on for months.

Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a last minute amendment which would have bogged down the repeal, but it didn’t even get the support of all the Democrats in the chamber.

Mitch McConnell was out praising this action as what he termed, “the first of many repeal votes.” Only time will tell if that’s true, but this was certainly a good place to start. The 1099 requirements introduced a huge paperwork burden on small to medium size businesses and would have resulted in driving health care costs up, precisely the opposite of the ostensible intentions of the legislation.

This is the first of many examples proving that Nancy Pelosi was right all along. We had to pass the bill to find out what was in it, apparently. And what we found was a series of provisions which make it more expensive for employers to do business, discouraging hiring and slowing the nation’s economic recovery. Here’s hoping that Mitch is correct.