TrumpWatch, Day 49: GOP Healthcare Bill Clears Committees

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Defying objections, House GOP pushes replacement for ObamaCare through committees

Developments on Day 49 of the Trump Administration:

House GOP Healthcare Bill Clears Committees

The House Republican bill to replace ObamaCare clears two committees.

Ignoring objections from almost all health sectors — doctors, nurses, hospitals, and Medicare’s chief medical officer (see Thursday’s TrumpWatch) — as well as associations for the elderly and retired, the GOP pushed the measures through the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Republican bill replaces the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act with income-based tax credits and restrict Federal funding of Medicare expansion from 2020. Those people who let insurance lapse face a 30% surcharge from insurance companies when they renew. Democrats are also noting that a provision over deductions by health companies, on taxes related to executive pay, will reduce their payments by $40 million per year with taxpayers paying a similar increase.

The House GOP insists that the bill is necessary because of rising medical costs, even though increased premiums directly affect only 3% of Americans under ObamaCare. Critics say many of the 20 million added to insurance under ObamaCare will be unable to find suitable cover if the ACA is repealed.

The legislation is also facing a heated challenge from the hard-line wing of the Republican Party and other conservatives. Breitbart, formerly edited by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, has declared “war”, saying that the GOP bill is “ObamaCare 2.0”. Both the Heritage Foundations and Americans for Prosperity expressed objections to Donald Trump on Wednesday night.

A Thursday tweet from White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino showed Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, and Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio at the table with Trump.

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