House Passes American Health Care Act
On its front page, the New York Times (5/4, A1, Kaplan, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports that on Thursday, the House “narrowly approved” the American Health Care Act by a vote of 217-213, “as Republicans recovered from their earlier failures and moved a step closer to delivering their promise to reshape American health care without mandated insurance coverage.” The article says no Democrats voted for the bill. They were joined by 20 Republicans. The Times adds that this passage “keeps alive the Republican dream to unwind” the Affordable Care Act. But the bill “faces profound uncertainty in the Senate, where the legislation’s steep spending cuts will almost certainly be moderated.”
USA Today (5/4, Shesgreen) reports that the vote “reflected sharp divisions over the GOP’s proposal, which is a long way from becoming law but still represents a huge victory for House Republican leaders and the Trump administration.” Republicans have “struggled for months to cobble together legislation that would garner the required 216 votes from its own fractured conference.”
On its front page, the Washington Post (5/4, A1, Sullivan, Weigel, O’Keefe) reports that the approval of the AHCA “capped weeks of fits and starts for the GOP and represented an enormous victory for President Trump, who repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail last year to repeal and replace” the ACA “but has struggled to secure legislative wins early in his presidency.”
The Washington Post (5/4, Ehrenfreund) reports in a separate article that the AHCA was passed without “an official estimate of how the bill will affect the federal government’s bottom line or how many Americans could go without insurance under the plan.” Therefore, it remains unclear “whether the legislation would save the government money or add to the national debt.” The Congressional Budget Office has “not had time to put together” its “usual estimate of the costs and savings, and independent analysts are uncertain about what the results would be.”
The Wall Street Journal (5/4, A1, Andrews, Peterson, Subscription Publication) also reports on its front page that the AHCA now faces some significant hurdles in the Senate.
Changes Mandated By AHCA Could Also Affect Employer-Sponsored Coverage. USA Today (5/4, O’Donnell) reports the House’s approval of the AHCA “means people who get health insurance through their employers could also wind up with lifetime limits on their coverage and plans that don’t cover benefits such as mental health or maternity care, just as it will be for those who buy their own insurance on the exchanges.”