Only days after Rep. Pete Sessions announced the Republicans' replacement bill, #Paul Ryan has managed to successfully push the #American Healthcare Act through the #House Ways and Means Committee. It may have taken one 18-hour-long sitting, but the bill has been approved, despite intensifying opposition from major healthcare industry organisations, fellow Republicans and Democrats.
Some of the changes on the cards are Medicaid restructuring, severing funds to Planned Parenthood, and the addition of tax credits. Some more popular elements of ObamaCare will be preserved, such as protections for pre-existing conditions.
American Healthcare Act lambasted
There is growing concern that the ObamaCare Replacement Bill will hurt Americans, claiming that millions of people could be without health insurance. The American Medical Association (AMA) has written to the committee to express concern over the proposed legislation, adding that it was “critically flawed”. In their letter, they admitted that the Affordable Care Act was flawed, but that the American Healthcare Act is a considerably inadequate alternative.
The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals have also slammed the new bill, saying that Medicare and Medicaid could also be adversely affected by the measure. The advocacy group AARP, the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes of also added their objects to the fray.
Democrats, on the other hand, have rejected the absence of a proper cost estimate for the rollout of the bill, and believe that the measure may merely be a gift to the wealthy. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, denounced the disturbing lack of evidence or support for the measures in the bill. “This is decision-making without the facts, without the evidence ... afraid of the facts,” Pelosi said.
Paul Ryan ignores American Healthcare Act opposition
It seems that the stream of criticism from various corners is falling on deaf ears, as Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, are attempting to steamroll the controversial legislation through Capitol Hill. Paul Ryan is confident that the American Healthcare Act will sail through Congress. It certainly helps that President Donald Trump is just as eager to pass the legislation. The president has been lobbying members of the Republican party who have expressed concern that the new bill doesn't adequately address the failing of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican Senator Rand Paul has been one of the most vocal opponents of the American Healthcare Act, letting it slip that proponents have been aggressively mounting a charm offensive to entice sceptics into swaying their views in favour of the legislation. Sen. Paul, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to consolidate internal opposition and force a debate and negotiation.
ObamaCare replacement rush: now or never
House Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing for a vote this month in the House of Representatives for the bill to swiftly proceed on to the Senate for debate. Pundits are saying that the way in which the bill performs in the House will most likely determine its success in the Senate. If there is difficulty in the House, the Senate might respond to the draft law with cynicism. However, if all goes smoothly with Representatives, Senators may be more confident.
If Paul Ryan gets his way, we'll see if the American Healthcare Act can stand its ground within the next few months.