Reaction to House approved healthcare bill

House voted 217-213 for new healthcare bill
Posted at 11:36 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 07:11:05-04

Repeal and replace, that's what the House decided to do with The Affordable Care Act Thursday. The bill passed in a narrow 217-213 vote. All democrats opposed the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate where significant changes are expected.

President Trump says he's "so confident" this legislation will also pass in the senate. The bill does away with much of President Obama's health care law--something the current administration vowed to do during the campaign.

Some are worried about the future of their healthcare. Maryland leaders say there's no need for concern.

"In rolling the Obamacare provisions back, were rolling back to a time when folks who aren't empowered continue not to be empowered," Mark Gather told ABC2.

"We're not going to lose any coverages in Maryland. We've had them before the Affordable Care Act, we'll have them after the repeal and replace bill, but it will bring down premiums," said GOP Maryland Congressman Andy Harris.

Republican leaders vowed to repeal Obamacare for seven years, but scrambled Thursday for enough votes to make this first step happen.

"We're very proud of this end product. We are protecting everyone with pre-existing conditions no ifs, ands or buts about it and so the final product here is really a healthcare plan that will serve America for decades," said Representative Chris Collins of New York, a Republican.

The "American Health Care Act" adds $8 billion to finance high risk groups in states where people with those preexisting conditions may face higher rates--but some are worried premiums will still go up.

"I'd like to see it amended in ways that it obviously needs to be especially in terms of the cost control but not repeal and replace, that's a campaign promise that's not a plan," said Baltimore resident Michael White. 

The bill sets aside money to help people afford coverage but it's unclear what happens to those with preexisting conditions under the GOP plan.

"This is a win, win, win for Marylanders. We're going to maintain all the protections for preexisting conditions because Maryland isn't going to ask for a waiver," Harris said.

Some say this new development could lead to another health care battle later on in the house--causing even more concern for many.

"I'm disappointed on the vote today on the healthcare bill because it sets aside folks who have traditionally not had a voice," Gather said.

Other key components of the bill include: Phasing out Medicaid expansion and allowing states to opt out of requiring insurers cover things like maternity leave and mental health treatment.