Two House panels approve GOP Obamacare replacement legislation
Two key House committees have approved a Republican proposal to revise the Affordable Care Act, giving the bill its first victories amid a backlash that both Republican leaders and President Trump are trying to tamp down.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted 23 to 16 along party lines to advance the American Health Care Act shortly before 4:30 a.m. Thursday after about 18 hours of debate. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31 to 23, also along party lines, to advance the bill at 1:45 p.m. after about 27 hours of debate.
“Today, the House took a decisive step forward in fulfilling a promise to the American people that has been years in the making: repealing and replacing Obamacare with affordable, patient-centered reforms,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said following the vote.
Amid a barrage of attacks from Democrats and criticism from health-care industry groups, President Trump sought to calm fears about the process.
“Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great,” he tweeted midday Thursday. “We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!”
Several hours earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said lawmakers need to see the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how the bill will affect the federal deficit.
“I think we need to know that,” McConnell said at a breakfast sponsored by Politico, adding that the CBO report could be released by Monday.
So, there it is. While you slept, the GOP is on the march towards making a bad healthcare system even worse.