KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Health Plan Narrowly Passes House

An amendment to add $8 billion to help fund high-risk pools swayed enough Republicans who were worried the legislation didn't offer enough protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The Hill: House Passes ObamaCare Repeal
House Republicans on Thursday passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, taking a major step toward a long-held goal and setting in motion an overhaul of the nation’s health system. The narrow 217-213 vote is a victory for GOP leaders, who faced a tumultuous path to getting the bill to the floor. The measure had to be pulled in March because of a lack of votes, but a series of deals since then brought on board the conservative Freedom Caucus and then wavering moderates.  (Sullivan, 5/4)

Politico: House Approves Obamacare Repeal Bill
The American Health Care Act, which passed on a 217-213 vote, now heads to the Senate, where Republicans have expressed deep reservations about it. But the vote is a big victory for President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the closest Republicans have come to fulfilling their long-running pledge to overturn Obamacare. (Cheney, Bresnahan and Bade, 5/4)

Bloomberg: House Passes Obamacare Repeal In Razor-Thin GOP Victory
The 217-213 vote sends the American Health Care Act to the Senate, where it has little chance of being passed in its current form by fellow Republicans spooked by reports the plan would cause millions to lose health insurance. Twenty Republicans voted against the bill, and no Democrats backed it. (Edgerton, House and Edney, 5/4)

The New York Times: House Passes Measure To Repeal And Replace The Affordable Care Act
Passage of the health care bill completed a remarkable act of political resuscitation, six weeks after House leaders failed to muster the votes to pass an earlier version of their bill, a blow to Mr. Trump and Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. “We are all breathing a sigh of relief,” Representative Chris Collins, Republican of New York, said. “We’re living up to a campaign promise we made, the Senate made, the president made.” (Kaplan and Pear, 5/4)

The Washington Post: House Republicans Narrowly Pass Controversial Bill To Revise Affordable Care Act, Claiming Fulfillment Of A Major Campaign Promise
“This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people,” Ryan said on the House floor moments before the vote. “You know, a lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote — to repeal and replace Obamacare, to rescue people from this collapsing law. Are we going to meet this test? Are we going to be men and women of our word?” (O'Keefe, Winfield Cunningham and Goldstein, 5/4)

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Approves Bill To Replace Most Of Affordable Care Act
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. (Andrews and Peterson, 5/4)

NPR: House Passes GOP Health Care Bill, The First Step In A Longtime Pledge To Dismantle Obamacare
The bill included last-minute amendments designed to draw votes from the most conservative House Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus as well as from their more moderate counterparts. The changes were necessary after the original bill was pulled from the floor in March when it became apparent it would not pass. And last week, GOP leaders considered bringing it back, but then decided not to risk another vote. (Naylor, 5/4)

USA Today: Obamacare Repeal: House Passes Bill In Major Victory For Republicans
Democrats fiercely attacked the GOP plan, saying it would gut consumer protections, increase health care costs, and strip health insurance from the poor and middle class. "Trumpcare eviscerates essential health benefits," such as maternity care and prescription drug coverage, said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "... and guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions." (Shesgreen, 5/4)

Los Angeles Times: With A Push From Trump, House Republicans Pass Obamacare Overhaul
The full cost and impact of the final changes to the bill remain unclear because GOP leaders called the vote without first waiting for a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. A previous analysis, before amendments were made to appease both conservative and centrist factions of the party, estimated the GOP plan would leave 24 million more Americans without healthcare coverage by 2026. (Mascaro and Levey, 5/4)

Here's more on how the vote breaks down —

The Washington Post: AHCA Vote Count: How The House Republicans Split
To get this version passed, Republican leaders positioned the bill far to the right of the political spectrum to win the support of most of the conservative House Freedom Caucus members and keep some moderates on board. And, that strategy worked. (Soffen, Cameron and Uhrmacher, 5/4)

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