Yesterday afternoon the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a GOP-backed bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA; otherwise known as Obamacare). The bill was passed by a vote of 217 to 213, with 20 Republicans opposing the bill and all Democrats voting no as reported by Business Insider.
The American Health Care Act, as outlined by the Trump administration, would roll back Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, eliminate tax penalties for those do not have health insurance, allow states to opt out of requirements for providing a minimum set of health benefits (like maternity care or emergency services), and repeal a payroll tax to provide tax cuts for high-income people.
Many members of the healthcare community made their voices of opposition heard as the voting date approached, and have continued to do so following the passing of the bill. Dozens of nurse, physician, and patient-advocacy groups have spoken out including the American Nurses Association (ANA), American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Hospital Association.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 3, 2017
National Nurses United released an opposition statement which has been widely shared this week: “The original version of the [AHCA] posed a mortal threat to the health and well-being of our patients, and to the health security of our country. The new version…will be even worse for our patients.” The American Nurses Association also released the following statement, which you can read in full here:
“The [AHCA] threatens health care affordability, access, and delivery for individuals across the nation. In its current form, the bill changes Medicaid to a per capita cap funding model, eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Find, restricts millions of women from access to critical health services, and repeals income based subsidies that millions of people rely on. These changes in no way will improve care for the American people.”
Now that the House has approved the new healthcare bill, it will become an uphill battle to pass it through the Senate. The Washington Post reports that “At a minimum, the House bill is expected to undergo major changes in the Senate, where it will be subjected to unlimited amendments,” a process which could take weeks. DailyNurse will be monitoring the healthcare bill’s progress along with the rest of the healthcare community.