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Trump rejoices defeat of Obamacare in Congress

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The Republican voted for the bill. House Republicans have "done nothing to cure its underlying problems", he said.

This time Trump, who took office in January, was "largely absent", Sanford said, adding: "They got it clear that threats were not going to work with me".

The bill would eliminate tax penalties Obama's law which has clamped down on people who don't buy coverage and it erases tax increases in the Affordable Care Act on higher-earning people and the health industry. That might make it hard for Republican senators to pass the measure under a procedural maneuver known as "reconciliation", which is usually reserved for budget legislation.

The legislation, called the American Health Care Act, is by no means a sure thing in the Senate, where the Republicans hold a slender 52-48 majority in the 100-seat chamber and where only a few Republican defections could sink it.

In this case, the health care repeal bill was drafted in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Stefanik announced her "yes" vote earlier in the day, saying in a statement she had issues with the bill without being specific.

Republicans had been working to piece together a GOP-only coalition of votes ever since their attempt to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act failed almost two months ago.

Before the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said, "With only hours' notice and no C.B.O. score, Republicans are maliciously, again, attempting to destroy health care and coverage for the American people".

"Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote", Ryan said.

The failure to provide adequate coverage for people with pre-existing conditions caused at least one Republican to vote against the bill.

- Mandates: It guts the IRS requirement in Obamacare that people with purchase health insurance or face a fine.

"By encouraging younger and healthier people to stay out of the market, prices will shoot up for those who decide to buy and there will be less federal money available to help you purchase coverage", says Consumer Watchdog and policy expert Jerry Flanagan.

"Everything that Paul Ryan claimed to hate about the Obamacare process in 2009, he's doing now", Meyers said.

The bill would also allow insurance companies to deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.

Democrats contested that assertion. The bill would instead cap the amount recipients can get, or get them block grants.

Cooper asked Sanders to weigh in on health care giant Aetna pulling out of Obamacare in Virginia, citing major losses.

But U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, who voted for the bill Thursday, said it is "a vast improvement over Obamacare that continues to unravel".

The American Action Network, a group aligned with House GOP leadership, had previously aired ads pressuring vulnerable members to support the bill. No Democrats voted for the bill, which was approved in a 217-213 vote.

An earlier budget office estimate predicted that the Republican bill would leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 than under current law. It also said the cost of insurance would be higher for lower-income and older individuals not yet eligible for Medicare.

"If they strip away the protections for pre-existing condition, I can't imagine that there's going to be anyone who will insure me", he said.

Peter Lee, director, Covered California: "We have analyzed the American Health Care Act, and as now structured, it would greatly increase the ranks of the uninsured and increase costs for millions more". "They don't know what this bill will do".

Trump said it has brought the Republican Party together. Majority were moderate members of the conference, though a few conservatives also opposed the measure. "Make no mistake about it", he said.

Trump has vowed to repeal and replace ObamaCare since the inception of his presidential campaign.

"How could you do this?"

The bitter health care battle dominated the Capitol even as Congress prepared to give final approval to a bipartisan $1 trillion measure financing federal agencies through September.

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