Obamacare

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As their constituents protested in support of the Affordable Care Act in Miami Wednesday, two South Florida republicans provided crucial votes for a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which narrowly passed the house 217-213.

As soon as the House approved the GOP health care bill on Thursday, Democrats were working on using it against Republicans in next year's midterm elections.

"They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar they carry," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared just after the American Health Care Act passed the House.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

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House Republicans approved their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

Here's a rundown of key provisions in the American Health Care Act and what would happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

Buying insurance

Kids with chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to health insurance changes, relying as they often do on specialists and medications that may not be covered if they switch plans. A recent study finds that these transitions can leave kids and their families financially vulnerable as well.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Republicans should start chipping away at eliminating the Affordable Care Act. He spoke to Fox News after attending a White House bill signing.

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Almost half a million veterans gained health care coverage during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act, a report finds.

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A pro-Trump group is airing ads in a dozen Republican-held House districts aimed at drumming up support for the White House's wounded drive to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

For most of his life, Carl Goulden had near perfect health. He and his wife, Wanda, say that changed 10 years ago. Carl remembers feeling, "a lot of pain in the back, tired, fatigue, yellow eyes — a lot of jaundice."

Wanda, chimes in: "Yellow eyes, gray-like skin." His liver wasn't working, she explains. "It wasn't filtering."

Carl was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Now 65 and on Medicare, he had a flower shop in Littlestown, Pa., back then, so had been buying health insurance for his family on the market for small businesses and the self-employed.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau present the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

County-level data going back to 2010, when the law was signed, show a patchwork of people living without health insurance that ticked down slowly for the first three years under the ACA. But once the online insurance exchanges opened at the end of 2013 and Medicaid expanded, the population living without coverage dropped noticeably.

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"Obamacare" is proving more of a challenge than the Trump administration bargained for.

New Data Shows Medicaid Expansion Is Paying Off

Apr 13, 2017
www.healthcare.gov

Although the GOP-controlled Congress is pledging its continued interest — despite stalls and snags — to dismantle Obamacare, some “red state” legislatures are changing course and showing a newfound interest in embracing the health law’s Medicaid expansion.

Repeal and replace is on-again, off-again, but that doesn't mean the rules affecting your insurance will stay the same in the meantime.

The Trump administration late Thursday issued a final rule aimed at stabilizing the existing health law's insurance marketplace that could have rapid, dramatic effects — perhaps as soon as early summer — on people who do not get insurance through work, and buy it on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges instead.

GOP Bills To Replace Obamacare Do Not Tinker With Lawmakers’ Coverage

Apr 11, 2017
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This week, I answered a reader’s question about how repealing the Affordable Care Act could affect congressional lawmakers’ insurance, along with a few other questions that had nothing to do with the health law drama that has engulfed the U.S. Capitol in recent weeks.

Q: What type of insurance do our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., have? Is it true that they’re insured on the ACA exchanges now and that any repeal and replacement will affect them too?

The Affordable Care Act's worst enemies are now in charge of the vast range of health coverage the law created. They're also discussing changes that could affect a wider net of employment-based policies and Medicare coverage for seniors.

Although Republicans failed last month in their first attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Donald Trump vows the effort will continue. And even if Congress does nothing, Trump has suggested he might sit by and "let Obamacare explode."

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The Republican health care bill remained in shambles Thursday as House leaders threw up their hands and sent lawmakers home for a two-week recess. GOP chiefs announced a modest amendment to curb premium increases, but internal divisions still blocked their promised repeal of former President Barack Obama's law.

"This brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said of the new amendment, flanked by about two dozen GOP lawmakers at a news briefing meant to project unity.

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The White House and House Republicans appear short of a last-ditch deal on their long-promised repeal of Barack Obama's health care law. And in an unexpected twist, "Obamacare" — never very popular — seems to be rising in public opinion polls.

President Trump may have said he is ready to move on, but the House Freedom Caucus can't let health care go.

The same firebrand conservatives who helped derail the GOP's long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act are now trying to breathe new life into the bill with a long shot effort to bring it back for a vote in May.

Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier is a Republican who has been fighting for years to get her colleagues to agree to expand Medicaid.

For years she pushed against what she described as a "Tea Party-ish" Senate and a governor who wouldn't consider the issue. In return for her efforts, she was stripped of her committee assignments and sidelined.

For more than two decades, Celeste Thompson, 57, a home care worker in Missoula, Mont., had not had regular contact with a doctor — no annual physicals and limited sick visits. She also needed new glasses.

Like many others who work in the lower rungs of the health care system, a category that includes nursing aides as well as direct care and personal care assistants, she has worked hard to keep her clients healthy by feeding them, dressing them and helping them navigate chronic conditions.

Updated July 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Repealing the Affordable Care Act was at the top of Republicans' policy wish list ever since the law was passed in 2010. Seven years later, having gained the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, the GOP apparently has failed to repeal that law, also known as Obamacare.

However, that doesn't mean Obamacare itself is untouchable. While Congress faltered, the White House still has lots of power.

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Now that the Republican health care bill is dead, President Trump says his plan is to let Obamacare explode. There are lots of ways his administration can chip away at the Affordable Care Act, which is the official name for Obamacare.

House Republicans emerged from a members-only meeting Tuesday morning to bullishly declare the health care legislative battle is not over.

"We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the meeting.

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President Trump is doing his best to put a good face on defeat in his party's attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

His strategy is simple: declare that the law is failing. And he is selling that message in his own distinctly Trumpian way: concocting it out of simple, bold words and then hammering that message home, over and over: Obamacare, in his words, will "explode."

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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