Short of votes, Trumpcare bill is withdrawn

This article was originally published here

Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives today withdrew the GOP-backed Trumpcare bill, which aimed to begin dismantling and replacing Obamacare, due to a shortage of votes.

A vote on the measure was planned after Trump cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose.

The legislation saw opposition from both moderate and conservative Republicans, and neither House leaders nor the White House were able to create a plan which satisfied both parties.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi) reportedly spoke to Trump at 3 p.m. and was instructed to pull the bill, which was delayed yesterday after failing to find enough support to guarantee its passage.

It is unclear whether or not the bill will be rescheduled for another vote.

Last week, the Trumpcare bill won approval from the US House of Representatives Budget Committee, despite losing support from 3 conservatives.

The plan cleared the Committee with a 19 to 17 vote, with David Brat (R-Va), Gary Palmer (R-Al) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) voting against, joined by the panel’s Democrats.

The legislation was approved by the Energy & Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means committee a week prior.

Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released data on the effects of the Trumpcare bill, estimating it would cause 14 million individuals to lose healthcare next year, with 24 million losing coverage by 2026. The bill would also cut $337 billion from the federal budget deficits over 9 years, the CBO said.

Average premiums for individuals buying insurance on their own would increase 15% to 20% in 2018 and 2019 compared to the current ACA law, according to the budget office, but would be lower by approximately 10% by 2026.

The plan would also immediately remove the penalty for people who do not have health insurance and halt the expansion of Medicaid at the beginning of 2020, capping funding for the federal healthcare program for the poor. It would preserve a pair of popular Obamacare features: Allowing children to remain on family health plans until age 26 and barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The newly inked plan would abolish subsidies for purchasing healthcare, instead creating age-based tax credits that could be used to buy health insurance; the credits would be capped for people with higher incomes. And it would direct $100 billion to the states for programs aimed at certain populations, such as high-risk pools of the sickest patients.

The American Medical Association also came out against the bill, calling it “Critically Flawed”.

In a letter to congress, the AMA said it outlined provisions in the new bill that would have an adverse impact on patients and the health of the nation, which would be caused due to a large decline in health insurance coverage.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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