On Thursday, the GOP’s revised American Health Care Act passed in the GOP-controlled House by a 217-213 vote…something a GOP senator says has “zero chance” of happening in the Senate.
The passage of the bill is Republicans’ largest step to date in their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now, the bill heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that although the bill passed narrowly in the House, it will not pass quickly in the Senate without major modifications, as many moderate senators are worried about the bill’s reductions to Medicaid.
Another Republican senator, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), said, “The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation.”
Other GOP members cheered the result, while Democrats jeered.
In a celebration in the Rose Garden after the bill’s passage, President Trump declared, “We’re going to get this finished.” Surrounded by GOP congressional allies, he affirmed that premiums and deductibles will be “coming down” and that the Affordable Care Act is “essentially dead.”
Trump also praised House Speaker Paul Ryan and predicted an “unbelievable victory” for the bill’s passage in the Senate.
Vice President Pence expressed confidence in the Rose Garden, stating, “Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare.”
Democrats, on the other hand, continue to fight against the bill, with not one voting yes on Thursday. Taking advantage of the 20 Republicans who voted no on the bill, House Democrats mockingly sang to those who voted yes, “Na-Na-Hey-Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye,” to indicate they would lose their seats in 2018.
Democrats also took to the floor to call the vote a “gut punch to America” as well as a favor to billionaires and “undertakes.”
At a Thursday press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “This disastrous bill has been condemned by almost everyone.”
Pelosi called the latest version of the bill “worse” than the original and said claims it would protect those with pre-existing conditions are untrue.
Mirroring the singing of Democrats on the floor earlier in the day, she said of House Republicans who voted for the plan, “This is a scar that they will carry.”
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