Obamacare is one step closer to repeal as the U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that would provide a drastic overhaul of health insurance for millions in America and hundreds of thousands in Western North Carolina.
“From the earliest stages of the discussion, I’ve stated that my goals were to, one, bring down premiums for Americans, and two, protect those with pre-existing conditions,” said Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, in an email earlier today. “After weeks of negotiations, conversations, and substantive changes to the bill, I believe we reached the point where both of these criteria will be sufficiently met. I believe the revised AHCA will substantially reduce healthcare premiums and provide a strong net of protection for the most vulnerable Americans.”
Called the American Health Care Act, the bill was narrowly approved 217-213 with nary a ‘yea’ from Democrats; 20 Republicans joined them in voting no.
For most of his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has pushed for the undoing of Obamacare, but often found himself stymied.
Meadows, who chairs the influential House Freedom Caucus, helped derail a previous effort pushed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., weeks ago.
Since then, Meadows said he was pushing for two issues – high-risk pools for pre-existing conditions, and state waivers for essential medical services.
Meadows got what he wanted, but the bill is not yet law – the Senate is seen as the more uncertain chamber in this incarnation of “repeal and replace,” and it’s possible Senators instead draft their own legislation.
Look for more on this story in next week’s Smoky Mountain News, on stands Wednesday, May 10.