House narrowly passes Obamacare replacement

5/4/2017

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a bill — dubbed the American Health Care Act — intended to repeal and replace several significant portions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.


The measure passed narrowly by 217-213 vote and now moves on to the Senate, where the measure faces “uncertainty” regarding whether it will pass, according to various news reports. All 193 Democrats who voted on the measure voted “no,” along with 20 Republicans.


"A lot of us have waited seven years to case 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."


One thing to watch closely is the future for those with pre-existing medical conditions. A provision was added to the bill passed by the House today that 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.


According to an Avalere Health study, only 5% (110,000 of the 2.2 million) of those with pre-existing conditions currently enrolled in the individual insurance market would be covered under the new healthcare plan, were it to pass.


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