In the White House press conference on Wednesday, a defiant Sean Spicer refused to tell reporters when President Trump intended to ask for a vote on health care reform. That was up to the legislators, he said. Just hours after that press conference, those law-makers said they were ready. They’ve voted now, and it passed.
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The repeal for ObamaCare is being labeled TrumpCare. Its official name is the American Health Care Act. A different version was brought to the House earlier in the year, but it didn’t receive enough support and the eventual vote was canceled.
By the smallest margin of votes, Trump has finally repealed ObamaCare Thursday with the House of Representatives voting 217 for and 213 opposed. TrumpCare passed by a single vote majority for the 216 votes needed to pass the bill.
The bill has gone through some changes since an earlier version was pulled from the floor in March in the face of flagging support, yet it has remained a top priority for both Paul Ryan and President Trump.
Fox News has been providing up to the minute coverage of the bill. Here’s their analysis on what the new health coverage will provide.
-Ends tax penalties, under the original Affordable Care Act, for individuals who don’t buy insurance coverage and larger employers who don’t offer coverage. Instead, insurers would apply a 30 percent surcharge to customers who’ve let coverage lapse for more than 63 days in the past year.
-Ends tax increases on higher-earning people and a range of industry groups including insurers, drug makers and medical device manufacturers.
-Cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people and lets states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Forbids states that haven’t already expanded Medicaid to do so. Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program that covers beneficiaries’ costs to one that gives states fixed amounts of money annually.
-Overhauls insurance subsidy system from one based largely on incomes and premium costs to a system of tax credits. The credits would rise with customers’ ages and, like the subsidies, could be used toward premium costs.
-Lets states get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge older customers higher premiums than younger ones by as much as they’d like. Obama’s law limits the difference to a 3-1 ratio. States also can get waivers exempting insurers from providing consumers with required coverage of specified health services, and from Obama’s prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health problems, but only if the person has had a gap in insurance coverage.
-States could only get the latter waivers if they have mechanisms like high-risk pools that are supposed to help cover people with serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. A newly added provision would give another $8 billion over five years to help states finance their high-risk pools. Despite criticism that the waivers strip protections, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office maintains that since states that take the waivers would have to set up the high-risk pools, “insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”
In addition to the things it provides, the new bill will also deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood for at least one year. This was a big test for President Trump’s leadership.