House repeal of 'Obamacare' hands hot potato to wary Senate

Under the American Health Care Act, she isn't guaranteed insurance coverage. "I believe in giving everyone a chance", says Joyce.

But with MA being a mecca for specialty care, that amounts to peanuts in the grand scheme of hefty medical costs, said Sara Bleich, professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, said the bill "jeopardizes the health and financial security of my constituents, as well as the millions of men, women, and children across this country who would no longer have access to quality, affordable health care". Those with pre-existing conditions will find it increasingly hard to buy insurance. No Democrats backed the bill, and a slew of Republicans opposed it as well.

The White House and its Republican allies praised 15 billion dollars in additional Pentagon spending obtained by Mr Trump and 1.5 billion dollars in emergency spending for border security.

"Anything that they (the Republicans) get done, that they accomplish, popular or unpopular, will show that they have the ability to make progress and to get things done and work together", said Randy Frederick, vice president trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas. The Republicans who control the White House and both chambers of legislature celebrated the passage of the bill as they moved a step closer to dismantling the existing Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which was introduced by former President Barack Obama.

"People across our state are coming up to me with tears in their eyes, anxious about what the Republicans' bill would mean for them and their families, and many of them are people who gained coverage as a result of the Medicaid expansion", she said in a statement.

Passage in the House by a vote of 217 to 213 capped weeks of fits and starts for the GOP and represented an enormous victory for President Donald Trump, who repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail a year ago to repeal and replace Obamacare but has struggled to secure legislative wins early in his president. They had spent weeks, days and hours pressuring reluctant Republicans to back the legislation that would cut the Medicaid program for the poor, eliminate Obama's fines for people who don't buy insurance and provide generally skimpier subsidies. The Wall Street Journal reports that many people who have health insurance through their employers "risk losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs for catastrophic illnesses", thanks to a little-noticed provision in the bill. The House measure would let states escape Obama's requirement that insurers cover anti-drug services. They said the GOP measure would toss millions off coverage while delivering tax cuts to the wealthy. The proposals could, however, exclude 24 million people from insurance coverage over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated. It also would make other changes to those subsidies in ways that, overall, would help younger adults and increase premiums for older people. Of those members, 14 ended up voting for the bill, with just nine opposing it.

Those conditions were used to deny coverage prior to Obamacare, according to experts.

But GOP leaders seemed to win over a raft of wavering lawmakers after adding $8 billion over five years for state high-risk pools, aimed at helping seriously ill people pay expensive premiums. "It's probably the case that MA has a higher concentration of sick patients, because of the health care in the state".

  • Leroy Wright