GOP lawmakers in the House have finally passed a bill that overturns ObamaCare – marking the first step towards delivering on one of Donald Trump’s core campaign promises.
The American Health Care Act passed Thursday with a vote of 217 to 213. It needed 216 votes to pass.
“Make no mistake, this is a repeal and replace of ObamaCare,” said President Trump as he celebrated with Republican lawmakers in the White House Rose Garden. “Yes, premiums will be coming down; yes, deductibles will be coming down, but very importantly, it is a great plan.”
The bill will face a tough battle in the Senate, but this is still a major victory for Trump – especially considering the GOP’s failure to pass its first attempt at healthcare legislation in March.
The vote may also boost Trump’s other priorities (like his planned tax overhaul) and improve his efforts to be viewed as a leader who can govern with the GOP majority in Congress.
“We’re going to get this finished,” announced Trump. “We’re going to have a tremendous eight years.”
It is unlikely the bill will pass through the Senate without alterations. “Its steep Medicaid cuts and provisions to scale back health benefits are being met with skepticism from members of both parties,” reports the New York Times.
The American Health Care Act includes $880 billion in Medicaid cuts.
“The Senate will now finish work on our bill, but will take the time to get it right,” said Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee.
The American Medical Association (AMA) was quick to denounce the bill. AMA President Andrew Gurman worries the bill will “result in millions of American losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question.”
Gurman admits that the country’s healthcare system needs improvement and has suggested that he is willing to work with the Senate to make changes to the bill.
“The AMA urges the Senate and the Administration to work with physician, patient, hospital, and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations.”
Editor’s note: This may be too fast, sitll not sure what the bill does, but it is a victory for Trump.