Bumps Ahead for 'Obamacare' Repeal as Americans Air Worries

Rep. Devin Nunes R-Calif said in a written statement Thursday that the House vote was “a big step … toward abolishing the failing Obamacare program and replacing it with a system that provides much better care at lower prices.” (File

With 20 Republican defections, but with many Republicans in tough districts still having to cast tough "yes" votes, the House passed the American Health Care Act by the razor-thin margin of 217 to 213.

McConnell has included himself in a group of 12 GOP senators essentially tasked with privately producing a bill that can pass the Senate.

"In the healthcare area, the repeal effort has weakened the protection of people with pre-existing medical issues and could leave 24 million Americans who now have health insurance without coverage", West said, referring to the Obamacare stipulation that insurance companies are not allowed to refuse coverage to anyone with pre-existing medical conditions. But the differences among individual senators, and the fact that there can be no more than two Republican defections for the bill to pass - underscores the challenge the Senate has ahead of it in coming up with a bill that satisfies enough holdouts.

I think it's crucially important that we give people relief from Obamacare.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appeared resigned to the legislative reality that the bill he unveiled with great fanfare, after years of Republican pledges to replace what's become known as "Obamacare", will be altered as part of a "multistage process".

"There hasn't been any health care discussion over here", Grassley said. What remains to be seen is whether the Senate's version will look anything like the House's and how much Republicans' 52-member majority will factor in, as the narrow margin doesn't leave much room for GOP Senators to jump ship.

The Trump administration on Thursday landed the first mortal blow on Obamacare, the national healthcare law that affects every American and almost a fifth of the national economy, with the Republican-majority House of Representatives voting for a new legislation to replace the Democrats' signal achievement. "It is health care insurance payment reform". Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have both objected to the bill's provision defunding Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Portman said a growing working group including himself, conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz, leadership and committee chairmen has been meeting about once a week to try to find a path to 51 votes. "Democrats should take this vote as a lesson that this White House and Congress can still pack a powerful punch", he contended.

"I think that the Republican Party will be rewarded", said Reince Priebus, Mr Trump's chief of staff.

In light of those issues, when President Donald Trump hosted a celebration of the House's passage in the Rose Garden on Friday, him being surrounded by a predominantly male audience earned some criticism. "There are a lot of traditions in the Senate that people have been loath to change", he said.

Some 24 million fewer people would have insurance in 2026 than under Obamacare, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of an early version of the bill. Bill Cassidy, a physician by trade.

The bill would shift power to states to set some health insurance rules, slash Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion and cut almost $600 billion in taxes under the health-care law, most of which will benefit the wealthiest Americans.

The rule governs what lawmakers can and can't do under reconciliation, which must be focused on spending, not policymaking.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised not to cut Medicaid and other entitlement programs.