While the final vote margin was very narrow – 217 to 213 – it was enough to advance the latest version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through to the Senate. This marks a stark contrast to the GOP’s most recent attempt to get rid of the Obamacare, when the bill was pulled from consideration minutes before a vote was supposed to take place.
The latest version of the AHCA bill tackles many of the issues Republicans have with the Affordable Care Act.
Below are a few of the key provisions of the bill:
Unsurprisingly, reactions were split pretty evenly along party lines, with many Republicans saying that the bill would help increase competition, give people more choice and lower costs. Democrats, on the other hand, still staunchly opposed the revamped health care bill. Some even went so far as to “troll” Republicans as the left the House.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.): “This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “‘Trumpcare’ eviscerates essential health benefits, and guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
The House vote is only the first of what could be many hurdles. The bill will next go to the Senate, where its fate is anything but assured.
While the GOP does have majority control of the Senate, they’ll need almost all the 52 Senate Republicans on board to pass the bill. And even if the bill does pass the Senate, it’s highly unlikely to do so unchanged. That means the will most likely go back and forth until both houses agree on a final version.
So, while the today’s vote is a victory for the new administration, GOP lawmakers still have a lot of work to do. There will need to be a number of negotiations, both within the Republican party and with Democrats, in order to get the bill through both houses of Congress and, finally, to the White House.