House Republicans vote to repeal 'Obamacare'
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 20:32
US President Donald Trump has declared Obamacare "essentially dead" after the Republican healthcare bill was narrowly passed by the House of Representatives.
It is a conservative dream seven years in the making: repealing and replacing Obama's Affordable Care Act, which Republicans accuse of sending health premiums soaring while reducing options for millions of Americans.
Despite holding the White House and controlling both houses of Congress, Republicans have found overturning Obamacare politically perilous, partly because of voter fears, loudly expressed at constituents' town-hall meetings, that many people would lose their health insurance as a result.
The vote is Republican Trump's biggest legislative win so far, but it is now heading for a likely battle in the Senate. A CBO estimate for the cost of latest version of their bill will not be ready before the House conducts its vote. They claim the GOP measure would toss millions off coverage while delivering tax cuts to the wealthy.
The bill was called "the largest restructuring and financial cut to the Medicaid program since its inception" by West Virginians for Affordable Health Care in a release following the vote Thursday.
All smiles in the Republican camp. The legislation could become a major issue for vulnerable House Republicans in divided districts, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has already threatened they will "glow in the dark" over their vote. Celebrating his victory, Trump, who have campaigned relentlessly on the pledge to dismantle Obamacare, said he was doing well as president, even though he has been a politician only for a brief time.
Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said that Trump's healthcare bill that passed today on a party-line vote "is atrocious and must be defeated" in the Senate. "I am so confident". Other senators also promised dramatic changes. "This is going to be a better system, a new system that has more free-market principals and lowers premiums", Woodhouse said. It's a very good bill right now. "Coming to agreement and avoiding the embarrassment of not coming to agreement was more important than what was in the final bill", said Jim Morone, a political scientist at Brown University in Rhode Island.
In an interview as he left the House floor, Faso said he remained uneasy about how changes in Medicaid funding could affect low-income children with medical problems. But with House Speaker Paul Ryan by his side, Trump exuded confidence that the bill would pass through the Senate. If they don't, the higher premiums they are charged would revert back to standard rates after 12 months, assuming the customer could afford to keep paying. David Perdue, R-Ga., said of the health care legislation.
Since it was passed in 2010, Republicans have repeatedly attempted to repeal it with no success. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., whose state did not enlarge Medicaid, said he would not back a health care bill "that rewards people for taking Medicaid expansion at the expense of those who did not".
Republicans have argued that their bill would give people more choice and reduce the role of government. They were joined by 20 Republicans who also voted no.
On Thursday, Aetna shares closed up 0.8 percent, Humana shares rose 2.2 percent, and UnitedHealth Group shares were up 0.9 percent.
The bill would end in 2018 Obamacare's income-based tax credits that help low-income people buy insurance. The bill has an uncertain fate in the Senate, where some Republicans consider the bill too harsh. Some polls have shown a public distaste for repeal efforts and a gain in popularity for Obama's statute, and Democrats - solidly opposing the bill - predicted Republicans would pay a price in next year's congressional elections.