House Republicans take first step to repeal Obamacare
With a four vote edge, Republicans passed the Obamacare replacement.
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The end to Obamacare may be near with House Republicans voting 217-213 in favor of advancing their replacement to the Affordable Care Act.
The vote to pass the bill is the first step to getting a replacement for the law that many Republicans felt was the government’s way of imposing on the public’s choice of health care services and options.
Prior to the vote, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke about the bill stating, "We can continue with the status quo or we can put this collapsing law behind us.
Despite a major setback six weeks back, the bill moved forward with four votes in the lead to push it through.
But the success is not being celebrated by the entire Republican party, with a total of 20 members of the GOP voting against the bill.
The lack of support for the bill from the Republican side may be politically motivated, particularly for those who feel that they may suffer if the result of the bill is a decrease in the availability of health insurance and is largely popular among the working poor.
But some Republicans are willing to pay the price that others perceive. This is particularly true of Philadelphia where all local representatives except for Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey supported the legislation.
Local Democrats in particular were outspoken about the bill with Senator Bob Casey taking to social media to express his dissent on the issue.
“The @HouseGOP bill is a disaster for middle-class families in Pennsylvania- costs up, coverage down, services cut,” Sen. Casey wrote on Twitter before the vote. “Really, we shouldn't call this GOP health care bill a ‘plan.’ It's a scheme to cuts taxes for millionaires & big corporations.”
But Senator Casey’s opinion may be in the majority in the Senate where Republicans are only in the majority by two votes and many believe the bill will be stripped of some of its provisions.
The major backlash over the bill is over the protections provided to those with pre-existing conditions, stating that the bill would remove blocks that prevent the health insurance prices from raising. It could also scale back a Medicaid expansion that has helped more than 1 million people obtain health coverage.
According to the MAyor’s Office, more than 200,000 Philadelphians benefit from the Affordable care Act and the City speculates the bill could lead to 160,000- 220,000 people losing their coverage.