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House Republicans Pass Controversial Healthcare Bill
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Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Photo courtesy of New Yorker.

Summary: The House Republicans have passed a controversial repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

Today, House Republicans passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The controversial legislature known as “Trumpcare” has already been lambasted online for its alleged future harm towards women, the sick, and the poor; and it has been said that if the bill were to be approved by the Senate, over 24 million Americans could lose their healthcare. Meanwhile, GOP leaders prepare for a massive kegger to celebrate their win this afternoon, according to Raw Story. 

  
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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was a controversial bill in itself. While it provided access to healthcare for millions, critics said that premiums were too high and that the penalty for people who chose to opt out was undemocratic. President Donald Trump had vowed to repeal the ACA, and since he took office, the Republicans, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, have scrambled to draft a replacement.

Ryan’s first version that he introduced in March was a dud, and he couldn’t muster enough support to even get a vote passed. However, determined to win, he came back this week with a new draft, and despite pleas from Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, the bill to overhaul our nation’s health care system narrowly passed in the House (217-213) and is now off to the Senate.

“This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people,” Ryan said before the vote, according to The Washington Post. “You know, a lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote — to repeal and replace Obamacare, to rescue people from this collapsing law. Are we going to meet this test? Are we going to be men and women of our word?”

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Torching Obamacare has been a goal of the Republicans for almost seven years, but the bill voted on today seemed to be hastily cobbled together. According to The Washington Post, several Republican lawmakers admitted that they hadn’t even read Ryan’s bill before voting.

While the lawmakers affecting our country may not bother reading the bills they sign off of, details of the American Health Care Act (ACHA) were released by the media, although the full text of the bill has not yet been released to the public. Some of the shocking points of the ACHA include:



Republicans were in such a rush to pass the bill that they didn’t even wait for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to release their report on it. The CBO, a nonpartisan consultant, would have been able to provide details on not only the cost of the ACHA but also how many people would end up receiving health insurance, according to The Washington Post.

Even without the facts, Republican Chris Collins from New York told The Washington Post, “We’re still comfortable we’re saving billions and billions of dollars.”

While Collins is confident that the ACHA is good enough for Americans, Ryan apparently doesn’t believe the ACHA is good enough for Republican politicians, according to Vox. In a shady move that says garbage-is-good-for-you-but-not-for-me, Republicans wrote into the bill that they would keep popular Obamacare provisions for themselves, even though they were seeking to deny millions of Americans those rights.

After Vox reported its story, Rep. Tom MacArthur said that they would close that loophole but not in the draft of the ACHA but instead in separate legislation.

While Republicans in the House of Representatives appear to be acting like frat boys not willing to do their homework, The Washington Post predicts that Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul will be more critical of this rushed bill.

“A bill — finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate — should be viewed with caution,” Graham tweeted on Thursday.



 

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