US: Big win for Donald Trump as House Republicans pass Bill to replace Obamacare
The American Health Care Act was passed 217 to 213, with 20 Republicans voting against it and no Democrats voting in favour of it. It now moves to the Senate.
The United States House of Representatives on Thursday passed a healthcare Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act popularly known as “Obamacare”. The American Health Care Act was passed by 217 to 213, with 20 Republicans voting against it and no Democrats voting in favour of it, reported The Guardian. The minimum requirement was 216 votes.
This is President Donald Trump’s first legislative victory after spending more than three months in office. Describing Obamacare as a “catastrophe”, he said, “Make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare.” He had met with lawmakers himself to garner support for his administration’s American Health Care Act.
The Bill now moves to the Senate. The president expects similar results in the upper chamber too. “We’re gonna get this passed through the Senate. I actually think it will get even better,” he said.
Thursday’s vote was a big victory for Trump and Republicans. On March 24, the House Republicans’ abrupt withdrawal of the new healthcare Bill had delivered an unexpected blow to one of Trump’s more prominent campaign promises. Since then, a number of revisions had been made to the new Bill to get more Republicans on board. These include a five-year coverage of $8 billion for those already suffering from illnesses, including cancer patients.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had earlier said the party leadership had enough votes to pass the Bill despite opposition from Democrats.
The American Medical Association said “none of the legislative tweaks” in the revised Bill could thwart the risks that patients will face under the new healthcare system. Along with Democrats, American medical groups have been arguing against the alternative to Obamacare, saying it will leave millions uninsured, increase premiums for the poor while favouring the rich and make it much harder for older and sicker citizens to receive reasonably priced care.
Meanwhile, the Senate gave its approval to the spending Bill. The Bill, which was passed 79-18, will now be signed by Trump. The Bill sanctions around $1 trillion federal funds for a series of programmes to keep the government running till September 30. The House of Representatives had passed it 309-118 on Wednesday.