House repeal of 'Obamacare' hands hot potato to wary Senate

"The bill that Republicans passed. really has nothing to do with health care".

The bill's passage was a victory for President Donald Trump toward his promise to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. "Who is it that's going out there and saying that pre-existing conditions won't be covered?" But critics of the proposed changes say the Republican bill only reward those who are young and healthy - who can buy cheaper plans - and will hurt those who are older and more in need of healthcare, leaving them with higher bills and less coverage.

"Congress will continue to act on legislation to provide more choices and freedom in health care decisions", McConnell said.

The legislation expunges Obamacare's unpopular individual mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance.

Mast argued that people with pre-existing conditions cannot get coverage under Obamacare, because how can "they have coverage if every single insurance provider has pulled out of the market"?

As Mr Trump stood flanked by his party's congressmen in the White House Rose Garden, Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, was across town warning Republicans they would end up ruing their votes. It puts a cap on federal spending per person-including seniors and children-under Medicaid and blocks Medicaid funds going to reimburse Planned Parenthood for providing preventive care to women.

"We expect there to be some changes, but we expect the principles and the main pillars of the health care bill as it exists now to remain the same", Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy press secretary, told reporters at the daily briefing Friday.

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Even as Mr Trump acknowledged that the bill still had to get through the Senate, the White House celebrated a rare win. House speaker Paul Ryan said the American Health Care Act "protects people with pre-existing conditions".

And, on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah broke down the ominous roll-back of Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing medical problems: "Right now, Obamacare doesn't let insurers raise rates for people with preexisting conditions".

The Republican edge in the Senate is just 52-48. For states, such as Pennsylvania, that opted to expand their Medicaid rolls to reduce the ranks of the uninsured, that's a financial time bomb waiting to go off.

Republicans cracked beers. Democrats mockingly sang "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" as the final vote count came in.

"They wrote this bill in secret and now they want to rush it through before people know how badly it will balloon the national debt", said Reed.

"Coupled with the constraints imposed by the budget reconciliation process, we must manage expectations and remain focused on the art of the doable as we move forward", Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said in a statement on Thursday. John Barrasso, are joining McConnell and Thune in the working group.

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