What to watch as House votes on ‘Obamacare’ and ‘GDP’ bill
House lawmakers voted Friday to pass the Republican-backed American Health Care Act, the first major piece of legislation since President Donald Trump’s election.
The legislation is the result of a long-standing bipartisan effort by Republicans to overhaul the nation’s health care system.
The bill, titled “An Act to Increase the Consumer Price Cap on Qualified Health Care Products,” would raise the federal tax on qualified health care products to 20 percent and also cap out-of-pocket expenses at $10,000 per person for all individuals and families.
It would require insurers to cover at least 20 percent of all costs for people with pre-existing conditions, increase the number of public hospitals in the U.S. to 15,000 and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health to $300 billion.
Republicans have already introduced two versions of the bill, both of which have garnered strong support from conservatives and centrists in the House.
The Senate is also expected to take up the measure next week.
Democrats and Republicans alike have been pushing for a bill to increase health insurance premiums for decades, but they have had little success.
President Donald Trumps popularity has been plummeting in recent months, while polls show that a majority of Americans don’t think the GOP health care bill is a good idea.
The GOP has a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and the legislation must clear 60 votes to pass.
“The American people want to see real solutions to their health care needs and to the economic issues they face, and we are moving forward with the American Health Plan to provide that,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The House passed the bill with bipartisan support Friday morning, and was expected to vote again on it at a later date.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Republicans will also begin the process of passing a budget bill next week, which would include $1 trillion in spending cuts.