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U.S. House Passes Bill To Replace Obamacare

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WASHINGTON -

The Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act passed the U.S. House 217-213 Thursday, with one vote to spare, although it will face an uncertain path in the Senate. 

No Democrats voted for the bill, and 20 Republicans voted against it. The bill largely repeals and replaces Obamacare. 

Thursday's vote sends the measure to the Senate. Many senators consider the House bill too harsh and it's expected to undergo substantial changes.

The House measure collapsed in March due to opposition by conservative and moderate GOP lawmakers. House leaders abandoned another attempt to pass the bill last week after support was lacking.

Democrats said the bill would kick millions off coverage. They predicted Republicans would pay the price in next year's elections.

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine released the following statement: 

"Today I voted for the American Health Care Act.  The bill passed  in the U.S. House by a margin of 217 to 213.  Six weeks ago I decided the original bill was better than allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight. 

Since then I have been pleased to work with conservative colleagues to improve the AHCA to enable Americans to have more choices at lower costs. Obamacare has devastated the individual health insurance market.  In Oklahoma, premium increases averaged over 70 percent this year, and we have only one provider on the exchange.

The amended bill immediately eliminates Obamacare taxes, protects individuals with pre-existing conditions, lowers costs, and reforms Medicaid to give states more flexibility.  Although this is not a full repeal of Obamacare, it does allow the states to undo the most costly aspects of Obamacare that are hurting American families.  Most important to me, this bill prohibits funds from going to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and redirects federal funding to Community Health Centers.  This provision alone merits support even though the bill falls short of all that conservatives wanted to accomplish.""

Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin released the following statement:

“For the last seven years, Oklahomans have been burdened by the ill effects of the Affordable Care Act. Oklahoma deserves better than skyrocketing premiums, outrageous out-of-pocket expenses, and one insurer left in the marketplace.  All over the country, we’ve seen the health insurance market collapse, leaving hardworking Americans with health care coverage that is anything but affordable.  Now is the time to make good on our promise to deliver relief to the American people.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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