Effort to repeal and replace Obamacare takes step forward
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee gave a thumb’s-up early Thursday to legislation in an effort to repeal and replace a major part of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans on the panel passed the legislation after 4 a.m. approximately 18 hours after they worked on the project, according to media reports.
The House and Ways Committee voted 23-16 in favor of the measure, which is considered a first step in an effort to replacing Obamacare. The legislation would end the financial penalty for not owning health insurance, reverse most Obamacare taxes, introduce a smaller system of tax credits based on age rather than income, and dramatically alter Medicaid.
"This is an historic step, an important step in the repeal of Obamacare," said Republican Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and other hospital groups have come out against the bill. “As organizations that take care of every individual who walks through our doors, both due to our mission and our obligations under federal law, we are committed to ensuring health care coverage is available and affordable for all,” hospital groups wrote in a letter to politicians.