It’s been a whirlwind of debate, lobbying, defeats, and setbacks as President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have worked to pass a health care bill that would repeal and replace large parts of Obamacare, but it would appear the American Health Care Act has made finally its first major step toward becoming law. The bill recently passed in the House of Representatives by a narrow margin.
The vote for the new health care bill, widely known as Trumpcare, took place on Thursday, May 4. The revised bill has seen heavy resistance from politicians, many of whom refused to support the original draft of the bill, but CBS reported that the bill managed to pass by a vote of 217-213 in the House today. All 217 of the “yes” votes were cast by Republicans, but 20 Republicans voted against the bill. Every single Democrat in the House also voted against the bill.
The American Health Care Act has seen heavy resistance from all sides. When originally fielded for discussion and possible voting in March of 2017, the lack of support from the majority of Congress caused the bill to be pulled before it ever came to vote. Besides stripping apart the Affordable Care Act, many experts believe the new bill will cost millions of Americans their health insurance. The bill not only re-introduces preexisting conditions as a means to deny healthcare, but also adds new conditions to be considered; the most surprising of which are sexual assault victims, and those who have birthed through C-sections.
Republican proponents of the bill have argued that the American Health Care Bill, while not perfect, picks apart Obamacare to its more useful pieces in order to build a better and more solid overall system for American citizens to be able to fulfill medical needs. According to NBC, Republicans aimed to trim the fat and target “Essential Benefits” of Obamacare in their pitch of the positive sides of Trumpcare, including better outpatient care, mental health care, substance abuse services, and pediatric services.
That said, there are many who still feel that the costs far outweigh the benefits. Even the non-partisan Congressional Budget office put out a startling forecast that under the new health care bill, over 24 million Americans could lose health care coverage over the next decade due to the new Republican bill. Raising eyebrows even further was apparently a stipulation in the bill that would allow Congress and its staff to be able to retain Obamacare coverage if they so choose. As taxpayers already pay for much of Congressional healthcare, many feel that this is an attempt by Congress to protect themselves, even as Republican proponents of the bill force the rest of the United States population into the new rules.
Even despite its win today, it should be noted Trumpcare still has some obstacles to pass. The bill will now move from the House of Representatives over to the Senate, where it could still be voted down without enough support. However, if it does happen to make it past Senate vote, the bill will then be signed into law, where it may become far more difficult to repeal without lengthy proceedings.
The sheer amount of life and critical decisions riding on the new health care bill is fairly staggering in its complexity. President Trump and the Republican party will enjoy the victory that came today, but there is still a lot to be done. For better or worse, it would seem the American Health Care Act has made it to the next step of legislation, and that means that every American will have something at stake in the coming months. It remains to be seen whether it will cost more than it saves.
[Featured Image by Eric Thayer/Getty Images]