Lawmakers Fail to Pass Healthcare Bill

By Rebekah Brancato

RYAN REPEAL AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., talks about the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, during a March 8 news conference in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

Last Friday, the American Health Care Act, or ACHA, was pulled. The bill was an attempt by the GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obamacare. After delaying the House vote on the bill from Thursday to Friday, it became clear that the bill would not have enough votes to pass.

ACHA had received criticisms from not only Democrats, but also conservative and moderate Republicans. Although Republicans have long opposed Obamacare, and Donald Trump had prioritized the repeal and replacement of Obamacare throughout his presidential campaign, Republican lawmakers failed to repeal the Act due to disagreements on the contents of the new bill. “Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue health care in America,” Mr. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican congressman representing New Jersey, stated. “Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.”

Moderates opposed the new bill due to a change in the bill made Wednesday night, which cut “essential benefits”, which are 10 types of medical care that insurance companies are required to cover under the ACA, and were worried about rising premiums under the bill. Meanwhile, more hardline conservatives didn’t think that ACHA was aggressive enough in dismantling federal regulation of insurance.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had previously been enthusiastic about ACHA, admitted defeat after the bill was pulled. “Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land,” House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled th

e bill. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don’t know how long it’s going to take us to replace this law.”

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