Obamacare vote, House Republicans free to turn to tax reform

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 8, 2017

The new healthcare bill, a revised version of the one Republicans previously pulled from consideration when it was clear they didn't have the votes to pass it, is meant to repeal and replace Obamacare. And Trump praised House Speaker Paul Ryan as "a genius", for engineering Thursday's legislative win.

Democrats, hoping to turn the vote into a major midterm election issue in 2018, have been blasting the bill, warning Americans will see premiums rise or lose access to insurance.

Republican members had their arms twisted by President Trump in phone calls and attended a last-minute pep rally Thursday morning, in which GOP House leaders reportedly told them it was "time to live or die by this day".

House Republicans are claiming a triumph by finally approving their centerpiece bill scuttling much of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Collins also said during the interview she has a "lot of concerns" with the House GOP's healthcare bill. The bill passed by the House would end the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) mandate that most individuals buy insurance, and that larger employers must offer insurance to their employees.

"For years, we have been hard at work to repeal and replace Obamacare, or the (un) Affordable Care Act".

"Texas alone has approximately 190,000 enrollees in its individual market with pre-existing chronic conditions, almost 80,000 more people than the funds earmarked for the entire country would cover", said Avalere.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how the health care system would be affected in the unlikely event that the Senate passes the House bill as is.

Congressional Republicans - motivated in great measure by fear of a politically damaging government shutdown - worked closely with minority party Democrats to produce the measure, which made only small changes to most accounts covered by the measure. However the big plus, is that the bill is projected to cut the federal deficit by more than $300 billion over the next 10 years. The state now has only one insurer and people in rural areas have lost their doctors. It allows states to waive some protections for those with pre-existing conditions, while letting insurers charge higher rates to older consumers and levy a 30% surcharge on the premiums of those who let their coverage lapse. She said there should be "no barrier for coverage" for people with pre-existing medical conditions and that the House's tax credits "do not adequately take into account income levels" or regional differences in health costs. "This is a crisis", Ryan said as the bill was debated on the House floor prior to passage, "that is happening right now".

The AHCA still needs to go through the U.S. Senate before being put into law. Six weeks ago I decided the original bill was better than allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight. "Instead, this bill includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health", said a top Democratic negotiator, Sen.

Medicine cabinet tax: almost 20 million Americans under ObamaCare were prohibited from using their pre-tax flexible spending account and Health Savings Account dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter drugs.

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