The passage of a GOP replacement health care bill that narrowly passed by a vote of 217-213 Thursday was a top campaign promise by President Donald Trump and a long-sought Republican goal.
Trump called the bill as “a great plan and I think it will get even better,” saying more than once — “Make no mistake: this is a repeal and replace of Obamacare.”
An analysis of the bill known as the American Health Care Act shows that it mainly benefits the wealthy and would hurt the poor the most.
The bill would lead to major cuts to the Medicaid program, which funds care for the poor and disabled. Many would lose out on financial support or health care coverage.
Yet the bill eliminates two taxes on high-earning individuals who make more than $200,000 annually or couples earning more than $250,000.
The bill also has yet to receive an estimate on how much it will cost from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The GOP bill is correctly opposed by a number of physician and health care groups, including the American Medical Association.
The AARP called the health bill “deeply flawed” because it would weaken Medicare and lead to higher insurance premiums for older Americans.
Despite vocal opposition from nearly every major constituency affected by the bill, it was not enough to stop the Republican-controlled House from approving legislation which repeals many critical parts of the Affordable Care Act — the 2010 law known as Obamacare — that has dropped uninsured rates in the United States to historic lows but has not done enough to rein in rising health costs.
The legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which faces sharp Democratic opposition, now heads to the Senate where it faces an uncertain fate.
Americans must call, write and voice their opposition to their senators and demand that they do not repeal and replace the existing health care law unless it will expand coverage and make it more affordable.