House Republicans repeal Obamacare, hurdles await in US Senate

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the House bill poses "more questions than answers about its consequences".

Some 20 million Americans gained healthcare coverage under Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, which has recently gathered support in public opinion polls. The Republican health plan also is expected to raise premiums for older people, who are more likely to have a pre-existing condition.

One of Obamacare's most popular provisions, that insurers would have to offer plans to people regardless of their medical history, however, has been retained.

"There are too many unknowns in what we've done".

"These cuts to Medicaid will put more than 550,000 West Virginians, a third of our state population, in harm's way", said Chantal Fields, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.

A family could receive up to $US14,000 a year in credits.

Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program that covers beneficiaries' costs to one that gives states fixed amounts of money annually.

Politicians don't want to admit that you can't cover everyone, including people who are very sick already, without the price of insurance going up for everyone.

A spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee said the legislative maneuver was privately cleared by the Senate budget committee. "It still hands a $1 trillion tax giveaway to corporations". Yes, pre-existing conditions will be eligible for coverage, but not necessarily at the same price those with current individual coverage now pay. She would have preferred, she said, to do away with all of the subsidies and other requirements that remain in the AHCA which many are starting to call Trumpcare. Implying the GOP would lose seats in 2018, Democrats sang, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" toward the end of the voting. The Republicans seemed unworried, many of them busing to the White House for a victory appearance with the president. "Eye of the Tiger", Survivor's theme from the 1982 film "Rocky III", and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" played as members streamed in. "We're going to finish it off and we're going to go on to a lot of other things". It was a perilous journey, and its Senate pathway will be at least as bumpy with little doubt the measure will change, assuming it survives.

"We're going to get this finished", President Trump declared in a celebratory Rose Garden event, surrounded by Republican congressional allies shortly after the vote. All of Southern California's House Republicans voted yes, with all Southern California House Democrats opposed. "You will glow in the dark" from the toxic effect of the vote.

The Republican plan has drawn particular scrutiny for gutting coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions. The legislation would rework subsidies for private insurance, limit federal spending on Medicaid for low-income people and cut taxes on upper-income individuals used to finance Obama's overhaul. It allows states to waive some protections for those with pre-existing conditions, while letting insurers charge higher rates to older consumers and levy a 30 percent surcharge on the premiums of those who let their coverage lapse.

Not only are there differences between the parties, but also between the House and Senate, as several Republican Senators quickly made clear that they don't like details of the House GOP plan that was approved on Thursday. I promised my constituents I would repeal and replace this disastrous law and today I made good on that promise. And it lifts the taxes that Obamacare had imposed on the wealthy, insurers and companies.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. flanked by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas and House Majority Whip Steve Scalies of La., smiles as President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, after the House pushed through a health care bill.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate, despite Trump's confidence. The measure would delete language in the health care measure entitling members of Congress and their staffs to Obama's coverage requirements, even if their home states annul them.