House Passes GOP Health Care Bill by Narrow Margin

Senate fight looms

The House of Representatives has approved a bill to repeal major parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and replace it with a Republican health care plan, setting up a tough fight in the Senate, according to a Reuters report.

With a tight 217-to-213 vote, Republicans obtained just enough support to push the legislation through the House, sending it to the Senate for consideration. No Democrats voted for the bill.

The GOP’s plan, known formally as the American Health Care Act, aims to repeal most PPACA taxes, including a penalty for not buying health insurance. It would also slash funding for Medicaid and roll back much of Medicaid’s expansion.

The bill’s passage handed President Trump his biggest legislative victory since taking office. The vote was also a political victory for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Michigan), demonstrating his ability to unite a fractured Republican caucus after two failed attempts this year to win consensus on the health care legislation.

Now the bill faces new hurdles in the Senate, where it will have even more difficulty gaining support from Republicans whose states have benefitted from their expanded Medicaid programs.

Source: Reuters; May 4, 2017.