WASHINGTON- On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, with the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
This decision comes after over seven years worth of promises by Republicans to do so. A March attempt at repeal resulted in a canceled vote as the GOP failed to drum up enough support amongst its own members for the vote. This was largely the result of many of the party’s more conservative members believing that the bill did not go far enough. Conversely, many more moderate Republicans believed the bill made too deep of cuts in the wrong places.
On the Minnesota side of things, the vote breakdown was as follows for AHCA:
It should be noted that overall vote was 217-213 and the split was completely based on party lines.
All the Minnesota representative made statements about the vote.
Paulsen stated that, “With millions in Minnesota and the United States in need of relief from skyrocketing costs, diminishing choices, and limited access, the status quo under Obamacare is no longer acceptable. This is just the latest step in reforming our health care system to be more patient-centered, and my focus remains on finding solutions that will make sure Americans have access to high quality, affordable health care.”
Ellison stated from part of a text, “Calling this bill the ‘American Health Care Act’ is a cruel- 24 million Americans will likely lose their coverage.”
Lewis pointed out that, ““Last year, I promised the people of the 2nd District that I would promote real health care reform that works for their families. I’m keeping that promise.”
McCollum took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with the vote.
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) May 4, 2017
The AHCA would do a variety of things, amongst which would be to block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, eliminate tax penalties that were present under Obamacare for people who didn’t buy coverage, and erase tax increases on higher-earners as well as the healthcare industry. The law will also change the millions of dollars worth of subsidies provided for people buying insurance into a tax credit that rises with age for those buying insurance.
A last minute allocation of $8 billion dollars aimed toward allowing states’ seriously ill people to pay expensive premiums was an effort to address the concerns about people with pre-existing conditions being left behind. This is an addition to already $130 billion in allocations toward states to help insurance customers, though some worry that this is still insufficient.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the AHCA would end coverage for 24 million people over a decade.
The bill will now proceed to the Senate, where further changes are expected to be made before being sent to the White House for final approval.