The Slatest

Obamacare Repeal Passes House

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Eric Thayer/Getty Images

The American Health Care Act backed by Donald Trump and Republican leaders has passed the House of Representatives by a 217–213 vote. (It needed 216 to pass.) The bill will now be taken up by the Senate.

A quick take on Thursday’s winners:

  • Republicans, including Trump, who will call this a legislative victory
  • Affluent and young/healthy people, who are now one step closer to paying less for health care (because the bill weakens Obamacare requirements that subsidize sicker/older individuals’ care) and getting a tax cut
  • Members of Congress, who are currently exempt from the bill’s elimination of Obamacare protections, although they did pass a separate bill revoking that exemption (which will have to be passed separately by the Senate as well).


And losers:

  • The estimated 14 million Medicaid recipients who are now one step closer to losing their coverage because of the $880 billion in Medicaid cuts the bill includes
  • Other low-income and elderly individuals who will get way less help paying their premiums than they would have under Obamacare. (The Congressional Budget Office’s initial estimate says the bill will, overall, reduce the number of Americans who have health insurance by 24 million.)
  • Americans with pre-existing conditions, who are one step closer to seeing major reductions in the degree to which the federal government protects their access to affordable insurance. (In particular, this means insurers will once again be allowed to charge more to women who’ve experienced such “pre-existing conditions” as sexual assault, domestic abuse, and pregnancy.)
  • Individuals with employer-sponsored coverage, because the AHCA appears to eliminate the requirement that employer plans include limits on what individuals can be asked to pay out of pocket

Congratulations to President Trump!