American Health Care Act Passes the House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), by a vote of 217-213 on May 4, 2017.  This bill is the first step in the Trump Administration’s process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare.

The AHCA, as written, eliminates the individual mandate to buy health insurance, changes subsidies from income-based to age-based, ends Medicaid expansion, lessens coverage requirements for insurance companies and eliminates taxes on high-earners.  The AHCA retains coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, but allows insurers to charge higher premiums to such individuals.

The bill will now head to the Senate.  The GOP has a much narrower majority in the Senate (52-48) than in the House (238-193) and many Senate Republicans have already stated that they will likely rewrite the legislation or start over completely.