In a 217-213 vote with 20 Republicans voting no, the House’s version of an Obamacare repeal passed today.
“A lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote,” said House speaker Paul Ryan. “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.”
From the Washington Examiner:
It keeps in place the Medicaid expansion until 2020, but then gives states the option to adopt a block grant or per capita cap scheme for getting Medicaid funding. It also defunds Planned Parenthood, fulfilling a long-time GOP goal.
Just before the vote, the House easily passed a separate bill that ensures congressional lawmakers and their staffs aren’t exempt from any changes to Obamacare.
The main vote was made possible by an amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., that would let states opt out of key insurance mandates, which the conservative House Freedom Caucus believes are the drivers of high premiums. The amendment was key to getting caucus members on board.
As for the likelihood that the bill will now pass the Senate, that too is uncertain. But this vote is unquestionably the first step in changing a law Americans rejected by putting Republicans in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House at the end of 2016.
Oh, and if you’re interested in what Republicans voted against it, here’s a handy list:
Here’s everyone that voted No on GOP side pic.twitter.com/QLZbKbqHWH
— Al Weaver (@alweaver22) May 4, 2017
We’ll discuss the bill more on the show later tonight, so tune in!
UPDATE: The Senate has decided not to take up discussion or vote on the House bill, but rather, to write their own bill.
From the Examiner:
“The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
“We are going to draft a Senate bill,” added Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “That is what I’ve been told.”