After years of debate, and a Presidential win from one Donald Trump, who promised to repeal one of the worst laws the nation has ever seen: Obamacare, house republicans are finally successful. The bill passed by a vote of 217 to 213, which was one more “yes” vote than was needed for passage.
Next stop the bill will see the senate, where President Trump thinks it will once again pass.
“A lot of us have waited seven years to cast this vote,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said shortly before the voting began. “Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this vote: to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
“This bill delivers the promises we have made to the American people,” Ryan said.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told MSNBC shortly before the vote began, “We were elected to do this.”
After the vote, protesters outside the Capitol building yelled, “Shame, shame!” at members of Congress walking down the front steps.
The bill — which would dramatically change the way the federal government funds purchases of individual health plans and Medicaid — is expected to dramatically increase the number of people without health insurance if enacted into law.
Effect on pre-existing conditions
Thursday’s vote came a week after the bill was amended to include a provision that won support from conservative holdouts. That provision would, under certain conditions, undo Obamacare’s ban on letting insurers charge people with pre-existing health conditions more for their insurance plans than healthy people.
Moderate Republicans initially blanched at that provision. But on Wednesday a number of them agreed to support the bill after the addition of another amendment that would increase funding designed to reduce the impact of the higher premiums on people with pre-existing conditions. Analysis questions how far that funding may go to cut costs for those Americans.
The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, would remove the Obamacare rule requiring most Americans to have health coverage of some kind.