AHCA passes in the House of Representatives

Approximately six weeks after failing to garner enough support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Republicans pushed a newly revised version of the bill through the US House of Representatives today (May 4).

The health-care bill is designed to repeal and replace aspects of the existing legislation commonly known as Obamacare. It passed the House with a total of 217 “yes” votes to 213 “no” votes. The bill will now advance to the Senate, where resistance is expected to be stiff.

For the Senate to pass a version of the replacement bill, the two chambers would likely have to reconcile differences in what’s known as a conference committee. It’s not clear whether House Republicans who voted for their version of the bill would sign on to changes requested by senators and vice versa — a concern for any legislation that goes through conference committee. The process is not likely to be swift. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the chamber’s second-highest-ranking Republican, told reporters Wednesday he thought the process of reconciling the two bills could take weeks.

While the latest version of the plan has not yet been evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office, many experts believe the bill will result in millions losing their health insurance coverage. A new amendment, known as the MacArthur amendment, allows states to request permission to opt-out of several Obamacare restrictions, including its popular ban on discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.