Wall Street Journal — House Republicans approved legislation Thursday to replace most of the Affordable Care Act, giving new life to a bill that had faltered at many stages and taking a step toward fulfilling a promise GOP lawmakers have made to voters for more than seven years.
The bill passed 217-213, with 20 Republicans voting in opposition and no Democrats supporting it. The bill faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, where several Republicans have already voiced concerns over its major provisions.
Republicans have promised for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it took weeks for House GOP leaders to line up enough support to advance the bill. They came up short twice, including in late March, when leaders pulled the bill from the floor just hours ahead of a planned vote due to collapsing support.
Democrats said the bill would leave more people uninsured and would raises costs and diminish coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, and the insurance exchanges allowing Americans to buy health insurance opened in 2013. The percentage of uninsured Americans has fallen from 18% in 2013 to 11.3% in 2017, according to Gallup.
The House GOP bill would end the ACA’s requirement that employers of a certain size offer insurance to their workers and that most individuals carry insurance.
Insurers could, however, charge people higher premiums if they let their insurance lapse. The bill also would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as their youngest customers, compared with three times as much under current law.
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