Congratulations America, the House just voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the less onerous, if imperfect, AHCA.
The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces daunting challenges because of the same ideological splits between conservative and moderate Republicans that nearly killed it in the House.
After a dramatic week of negotiations, lobbying from Trump and Republican leaders, the vote ended with 217 GOP lawmakers backing the measure. Twenty Republicans opposed it, as did all House Democrats.
Democrats, of course, derided the GOP for their decision to repeal the unpopular law – even going so far as to change “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey… goodbye” as the GOP lawmakers left the room. The Democrats apparently believe that many GOP incumbents will lose their jobs in 2018 because of the healthcare repeal. What these Democrats seem to forget is that many of these GOP representatives were elected on promises to REPEAL Obamacare. Don’t expect them to lose their jobs because they did what they promised.
The House also successfully defunded Planned Parenthood for the coming year (no, it’s not permanent…yet).
The revised AHCA gives insurance companies the freedom to decide if they want to cover “essential benefits” like maternity care, which critics of Obamacare point out are “essential” for only half the population.
For one year, the AHCA eliminates more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood. This is identical to a provision that was ruled in compliance with strict Senate rules in 2015, making it unlikely the Senate can throw this section out on a technicality that it’s not budget-related enough…
Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, mentioned the bill’s pro-life aspects as positive as he advocated for the bill.
The Family Research Council (FRC) supported the revised AHCA legislation because “it provides the best path forward to re-establish the fundamental federal policy that abortion is not health care,” FRC President Tony Perkins said.
National Right to Life and the Catholic Medical Association also supported the revised bill.
“AHCA repeals the Obamacare premium tax credits, which subsidize abortion on demand,” said Perkins. “AHCA would also eliminate the Obamacare employer and individual mandate penalties, thereby allowing employers or individuals to forgo offering or purchasing coverage if doing so violates their conscience.”
Perkins said if the Senate removes the pro-life provisions from the AHCA, it will not support the bill.