Obamacare replacement bill passes first test


After nearly 18 hours of debate, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved the GOP’s massive overhaul to Obamacare in a vote of 23-16, moving the American Health Care Act passed its first hurdle.

“This is an historic step, an important step in the repeal of Obamacare,” asserted Republican representative Kevin Brady, who is chairman of the committee.

Although the proposed legislation aims to end financial penalties on individuals for not buying health insurance, reverse Obamacare taxes, offer tax credits based on age versus income, and overhaul Medicaid, some Democratic lawmakers, insurers, and hospitals are concerned about unknown costs and coverage impact.

While lawmakers, hospitals, and insurers believe the new legislation will hurt individuals due to less governmental intervention, some Republicans are concerned the bill doesn’t go far enough to dismantle Obamacare, a policy they say promoted government overreach that damaged the over $3 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

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This has some Republicans wanting to pull the reins, saying the bill shouldn’t go further without major changes. Others are asking their fellow lawmakers to understand the importance of moving the bill forward.

“If nothing gets done here in this Congress, we are stuck with Obamacare,” said Rep. Steve King on CNN as he urged his fellow Republicans to act.

On Mar. 8, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with leaders of conservative groups who have concerns about the bill. A White House official confirmed they are open to “constructive improvements.”

H/T: Reuters

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