Republicans are claiming a triumph by pushing their legislative centerpiece scuttling much of President Barack Obama’s health care law through the House.
A little over a month ago, attempts to dismantle Obamacare appeared doomed when the Republicans did not have enough vote. The current bill was rushed to a vote before the CBO had a chance to review it.
Rose Garden ceremonies are normally reserved for major bill signings and big presidential moments, but Donald Trump wanted to project an image of success – even on a bill that passed the Republican-led House with only a vote to spare.
The bill now faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where even GOP lawmakers say major changes are likely. However, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) pulled the bill ahead of a scheduled vote, admitting that they didn’t have a consensus within the party. They said the GOP measure would toss millions off coverage while delivering tax cuts to the wealthy.
“Like many of my colleagues I ran in support of a repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that lowers premiums, drives down health-care costs, encourages competition and gives every American access to quality, affordable health insurance”, Lance said afterwards. The new amendment will simply undo the protections that the ACA put in place that kept insurance companies from basing costs and coverage on health history.
Passage was a product of heavy lobbying by the White House and Republican leaders, plus late revisions that nailed down the final supporters needed. He repeated his conviction that Obamacare is “failing” and “essentially dead”. “Yes, deductibles will be coming down”, he said.
Despite having control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans have found that overturning Obamacare, – which they have long criticized as government overreach – is politically fraught, in part because of voter fears that many people will lose their health insurance as a result.
Today, CNN listed the 11 states with highest percentage of residents who have pre-existing conditions.
It would retain Mr Obama’s requirement that family policies cover grown children until age 26.
Others said they saw a different Trump at work this week versus March 24, when he backed a bill that collapsed and again in April when his fellow Republicans failed a second time.
The House plan has fueled many concerns about its possible effects on health-care coverage and affordability.
The bill will also allow states to permit insurers to charge more for pre-existing conditions, terminate tax penalties for individuals who don’t buy insurance coverage and larger employers who don’t offer coverage, replace Obamacare premium subsidies with tax credits instead.
“The House is forcing seniors to pay more, jeopardizing health care for Montana women and failing to address the rising costs that are draining pocketbooks”.
But Casey referred to the bill’s action on Medicaid as a broken promise from Trump who pledged not to touch Medicaid or Medicare while he was on the campaign trail.
“They are not a serious party”, said New York Rep. John Faso, who was undecided on the bill until this week, when he chose to vote for it.
The House is scheduled to vote on the GOP-backed, Obamacare replacement bill Thursday, almost two months after an aborted first vote on the proposal.
A key turning point came on Monday, when Upton and four other Republican lawmakers met to discuss how the rollback bill could be changed to better protect people with pre-existing medical conditions, a concern for Republican moderates. To shore up support on Wednesday, GOP leaders and the White House agreed to include the extra $8 billion to help patients with pre-existing health problems.
Almost every major medical group, including the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association and the AARP, was strongly opposed to the Republican bill and said last-minute amendments further eroded protection for the most vulnerable groups, including the sick and elderly.
“The health insurers hate it, the doctors hate it, the hospital groups hate it and frankly the patient groups hate it as well”, Flanagan said.