House votes to topple Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood


The U.S. House Thursday voted to adopt the American Health Care Act, a replacement for Obamacare that would, indeed, pull down some of the pillars of the law described by Republicans as failing and which, in fact, many insurers are fleeing.

It now goes to the Senate, where changes are expected, before it eventually could end up before a conference committee, so the actual details of the document are less important than the fact the much-divided GOP finally came together to pass the plan 217-213.

President Trump, who campaign on plan to get rid of Obamacare, said the new proposal will cut costs and cut deductibles, and held a Rose Garden celebration over the vote.

Democrats predictably voted unanimously against the changes, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who famously said when Obamacare was adopted lawmakers would have to vote for the law so that people could find out what was in it, claiming more information was needed on the GOP proposal.

“Forcing a vote without a CBO [Congressional Budget Office] score shows that Republicans are terrified of the public learning the full consequences of their plan to push Americans with pre-existing conditions into the cold,” she claimed as the vote approached.

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“But … House Republicans are going to tattoo this moral monstrosity to their foreheads, and the American people will hold them accountable.”

In general terms – and before the Senate even looks at it – the bill would get rid of some Obamacare taxes on the wealthy and insurers and demolish the individual mandate that orders people to buy government-chosen health insurance whether they want it or not.

It replaces the Obamacare subsidies with refundable tax credits based mainly on age to purchase health insurance.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who pulled an earlier version when it was clear there wasn’t enough GOP support, encouraged approval of the plan to “give people more choices and more control over their care.”

Trump said the different GOP factions “all came together.”

“We have just developed a bond. This has really brought the Republican Party together,” he said.

He indicated now there’s no stopping the GOP, promising that a tax reform plan is next up.

He congratulated Ryan on a “job well done,” and Ryan said many individuals contributed to making the “collaborative effort” the “best bill” possible.

“You guys are the best,” he said.

One of the biggest sections of Trump support during the 2016 race, however, singled out one provision in the new law for praise. Evangelical Christians liked the plan to drop funding for abortionists.

“We commend the House, which by this vote has – for the third time – voted to end taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s most profitable abortionist. As ADF and our ally Charlotte Lozier Institute have thoroughly documented, this billion-dollar abortion giant has been implicated in massive fraud, waste, and abuse of Medicaid and other federal and state programs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kevin Theriot.

“Congress’s well-founded concern that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are engaged in a pattern of deceptive practices designed to maximize their bottom-line revenue should be enough reason to end the public largesse on their behalf, even apart from the fact that they destroy a third of a million human lives every year and have been involved in numerous other scandals.”

While Trump was criticized just days ago for allowing Planned Parenthood funding to appear in an updated continuing resolution funding the government for the next few months, the new health care plan would eliminate it.

Lila Rose, of the Live Action pro-life organization, said, “This vote was a huge step toward ending taxpayer support for an abortion chain that takes the lives of over 320,000 preborn children every year. We’ve seen millions of Americans who are opposed to taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood speak out at town halls, march in cities across the nation, and call and write their members of Congress.

“We have a president who is prepared to sign this long-awaited bill into law, so I urge the Senate to move quickly to pass it. Every day they delay, taxpayers are forced to send another $1.5 million to Planned Parenthood, which allows this abortion corporation to keep its doors open and kill another 887 innocent children in the womb.

“Planned Parenthood was given the opportunity to end its abortion business in order to keep receiving taxpayer funding, but they chose abortion over helping women in need of health care. There is no reason for the Senate to hesitate in redirecting this money to the thousands of health clinics across America that actually provide authentic health care and are accessible to millions more women.”

Susan B. Anthony List chief Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “As the vice president said last night at our annual gala, the legislation passed by the House today does two important things. First, the legislation stops the Obamacare abortion expansion by preventing taxpayer funding of health care plans that cover abortion on-demand. Second, the bill redirects taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, to health care centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventative care to women and girls.”

She continued, “We urge the Senate to keep these non-negotiable provisions and quickly advance this bill to the president’s desk.”

The proposal to redirect taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood would result in a $422 million increase in federal funding for community health care centers, which enjoy strong bipartisan support, avoid provision or promotion of abortion, and now serve nearly 24.3 million people in medically underserved communities across the United States.

Family Research Councnil President Tony Perkins added, “Today is a day that should and will be remembered. The House GOP today fulfilled its nearly decade old promise to pass a bill that replaces Obamacare with a law that is pro-life and reduces premium costs for the American people.

“We are proud of the House Freedom Caucus for working diligently in coalition with conservative groups and others to make this day possible. After entrusting the GOP with authority to lead the country based upon their campaign promises, the House GOP has made good on turning promises into policy. Now it is time for the Senate to follow in the House’s footsteps and pass the AHCA, so that this vital legislation can be signed into law by President Trump who understands the value of every person, born and unborn.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he wants to see the Senate move on the bill.

“Obamacare’s burdensome mandates and crushing taxes have locked the American people into a system of higher costs and less choice. Today House Republicans successfully took a major step towards freeing American families from Obamacare by advancing a bill that dismantles the law’s harmful taxes and mandates, while providing patient-centered reforms that put American families – not Washington – in charge of their healthcare decisions. As we work to fulfill our promise to our constituents to repeal and replace the law in the Senate, we will be guided by the important principles to address costs and give American families more choices.”

And U.S. Rep Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said it does no one any good to pretend “Obamacare is going to fix itself or that somehow, someday, it’s going to get better.”

“Today’s vote gives a voice to the victims of Obamacare, the millions of Americans who are paying higher premiums, receiving less coverage and for whom the status quo offered no end in sight. Obamacare is doing real harm to California’s families and struggling businesses, and constituents are counting on me to deliver real relief. Obamacare was a failure from the get-go. Now is the time to make it right,” he said.

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