American Health Care Act

Ted Eytan (Wikimedia Commons)

Americans who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act are feeling some relief at the failure of Republican efforts to repeal it, but they face new anxieties with President Donald Trump tweeting that "ObamaCare will explode."

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After seven years of fervent promises to repeal and replace "Obamacare," President Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders buckled at a moment of truth Thursday, putting off a planned showdown vote in a stinging setback for the young administration.

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The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

The Affordable Care Act replacement plan championed by President Trump would hurt low-income people in rural areas that voted heavily for the Republican last fall, according to an NPR analysis of data on proposed subsidy changes from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Florida is asking the federal government to cap its funding to the state’s Medicaid program. Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers say that will mean more flexibility to provide quality healthcare at an affordable cost. But critics point to welfare reform and say fewer people will get health care.

Republican House leaders are making last-minute changes to their health care proposal in a bid to woo more conservatives ahead of a vote scheduled for Thursday.

One of those changes would let states impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients. A handful of states asked the Obama administration for that authority but were denied.

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Office of the Speaker

President Donald Trump is rallying support for the Republican health care overhaul by taking his case directly to GOP lawmakers at the Capitol, two days before the House plans a climactic vote that poses an important early test for his presidency. Top House Republicans unveiled revisions to their bill in hopes of nailing down support.

Older Floridians Worry About Obamacare Replacement

Mar 21, 2017

Older Americans who have not yet reached Medicare age are among the groups hardest hit by the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

An analysis by The Associated Press shows that many of those who buy their own health insurance stand to pay thousands of dollars more.

The Affordable Care Act's tax penalty for people who opt out of health insurance is one of the most loathed parts of the law, so it is no surprise that Republicans are keen to abolish it. But the penalty, also called the individual mandate, plays a vital function: nudging healthy people into the insurance markets, where their premiums help pay for the cost of care for the sick. Republican lawmakers think they have a better alternative.

For years, Republicans in Congress have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, claiming that its requirement for nearly everyone to buy insurance or pay a fine is burdensome and costly, and it doesn't give people enough flexibility to get the coverage they need.

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We turn now to Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and head of the House Ways and Means Committee. Welcome to the program.

KEVIN BRADY: Thanks for having me.

The proposed American Health Care Act targets the health provider Planned Parenthood with a set of proposed limits on Medicaid payments to the organization.

The debate over how many people would lose health insurance under the Republican health care overhaul and its impact on the budget deficit obscures one of the major and most far-reaching effects of the proposal: sweeping changes to Medicaid.

Many people are worried about how potential changes to the federal health law might affect them. But few are as concerned as those with pre-existing health conditions.

Republicans on Sunday dismissed an upcoming Congressional Budget Office analysis widely expected to conclude that more Americans will be uninsured under a proposal to dismantle Barack Obama's health law, despite President Donald Trump's promise of universal coverage.

Darvin Bentlage says his health insurance plan used to be the same as all the other cattle farmers in Barton County, Mo.: Stay healthy until he turned 65, then get on Medicare. But when he turned 50, things did not go according to plan.

"Well, I had a couple of issues," he says.

He's putting it mildly.

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UPDATED 3/24/2017 4:45 PM

Republican leaders in the U.S. House have pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor after failing to round up enough votes within their own caucus.

Had the bill passed, Americans would have no longer been required to buy health insurance, and it would have eliminated the current subsidies that are used to bring down the cost of premiums.

NPR and dozens of member stations collected public statements from members of Congress to help the public understand where lawmakers stood on this issue.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

More than 1,000 nurses from around the country met this week in Tampa at the American Nurses Association annual conference, and part of it was spend discussing the potential impact of repealing Obamacare.

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

The Republican health care overhaul working its way through the House is opposed by Democrats and by many Republican conservatives. It's none too popular with the people on the front lines of health care, either — including doctors, nurses and hospitals.

The chief medical officer of Medicaid, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, tweeted out his opposition on Wednesday. "Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts ... in opposition to #AHCA," the career staffer said.

Wikimedia Commons

House Republicans scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it masked deeper problems as hospitals, doctors and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the GOP health care drive.

Kaiser Family Foundation

People in their 50s and 60s could be hit with higher health insurance premiums and less financial help paying for them under a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

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We're going to start this hour by talking about the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. In a moment, we'll hear from a group that has come out against the plan, the AARP.

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Over the strong objections of key conservatives and Democrats, House Republican leaders are forging ahead with a health care plan that scraps major parts of the Obama-era overhaul.

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