The Republican-backed repeal of ObamaCare, known as the American Healthcare Act, or AHCA, passed the House or Representatives yesterday by a vote of 217-213, with 20 Republicans joining all 193 Democrats in opposing the measure. As a result, the bill now heads to the Senate where it could die a legislative death, or be changed substantially form the current version.
Democrats wasted no time in voice opposition to the bill, going so far as to claim that the passage of the AHCA would literally result in the deaths of thousands of Americans. Here is a sampling of the reaction:
This is a rare "life or death" vote. Thousands will die if this bill becomes law. Upton amendment is just political cover for cowards.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) May 3, 2017
This isn’t football. It’s not about scoring points. #AHCA will devastate Americans’ healthcare. Families will go bankrupt. People will die.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 4, 2017
House Republicans vote to sentence millions of Americans to death https://t.co/nXH5jnnoUH
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) May 4, 2017
Yes, that’s right, the AHCA will literally kill people, according to Democrats and liberal media outlets. It’s as if the tables have been reversed and the alternate reality change is now complete.
Flashback to 2009 and a certain “rogue” Governor from Alaska who once wrote the phrase “death panels” on her facebook page. The argument over ObamaCare was never the same after that in 2010:
Yes, folks, the hyperbole runs strong on all sides when it comes to the topic of health care. The bottom line comes down to the simple axiom that “our health care bill” is good, and “their health care bill” will kill you. In other words, whichever side of the aisle you’re on, be afraid, be very afraid.
If you want to learn what the actual provisions are inside the AHCA and how they might affect you, here’s a strong sampling of stories from various media outlets on what’s actually in the bill:
The Atlantic: What’s in the Health-Care Bill the House Just Passed?
All of this might be short lived if the Senate has anything to say about it. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill won’t make it through without major changes:
The person who must lead the talks and finally shape a compromise is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. This week he hinted to reporters how difficult the task could be.
“When they send it over here it will be a real big challenge on the Senate side as well,” he said.
Because the margins are so narrow, McConnell can’t afford any defections so every GOP senator could have enormous sway. At the same time, for Republicans to meet their long-sought goal of repealing Obamacare, they must find ways to not be rigid in their demands.
But even if they pass something, there is no assurance the House would accept a dramatically altered bill so the repeal effort could fail then.
Any changes made by the Senate have to go back to the House for approval, so you can see the possible “death spiral,” to borrow a phrase, this bill might get stuck in.