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House approves Republican ACA replacement without employer mandate

05 May 2017
House approves Republican ACA replacement without employer mandate

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House 217-213 Thursday, with one vote to spare. Without them, the CBO estimated 14 million Americans would lose healthcare coverage by 2018, with that number growing to 24 million by 2026.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said the Republican health care plan, "could rip care away from up to 900,000 Ohioans, including more than 200,000 Ohioans receiving treatment for opioid addiction".

The bill would eliminate tax penalties under Obama's law which has clamped down on people who don't buy coverage and it erases tax increases in the Affordable Care Act on higher-earning people and the health industry, the AP reported.

There was also no rating from the Congressional Budget Office, which would have estimated the cost of the AHCA amendments.

"We have enough votes", House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) said Wednesday night.

Almost every major medical group was strongly opposed to the Republican bill.

Republicans "took a bill that didn't reduce the cost of premiums, that didn't expand health coverage for all, that didn't protect people with pre-existing conditions and that nobody liked, and nobody wanted, and decided it was good policy", Ryan said Thursday.

How individual diseases will be affected depends on the actions by the states, which would be required to substitute for the coverage by setting up "high-risk pools".

Trump spoke about his efforts to get the bill passed to approximately 100 Republican legislators who gathered in the Rose Garden. The Republican voted for the bill. The AHCA expands health savings accounts, giving patients more options of how to spend and save their hard-earned money. I actually think it will get even better. The previous CBO score found that a 64-year-old making $26,500 per year would see premiums spike up by $12,900 on average. Families will go bankrupt. It's not clear what, if anything, the new version would do to address these concerns.

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) did say that he and his colleague will try to include some of the House bill in their own version.

Some moderate Republicans, like Rep. Barbara Comstock, said the uncertainties about the legislation ultimately made her decide not to support it.

If the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, it could also make the availability of health care dependent on where a person lives.