Skip to main content

Trump Says Health Care Bill United GOP

President Donald Trump praised House Republicans for their May 4 vote to pass his health care reform bill.

The vote means the legislation will now move to the Senate, where the Republicans also have a majority, The Washington Times reported.

The final House vote tally was 217-213, with no Democrats voting in favor.

"This has really brought the Republican Party together," Trump said from the White House.

Health care reform was one of Trump's main election campaign pledges. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act suffered a setback in March when Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin had to pull the bill before a vote when it became clear that he lacked the support to pass the bill.

This time around, moderates in the Tuesday Group and the right-wing Freedom Caucus reached a compromise.

"This is the group. What a great group of people," Trump said after the vote. "They are not doing it for the party they are doing it for the country."

Trump spoke about his efforts to get the American Health Care Act passed to approximately 100 Republican legislators who gathered in the Rose Garden. He celebrated his first major legislative victory, describing the bill as a "great plan."

"Am I doing OK?" Trump asked them. "Can you believe it?!"

He suggested the vote would help him move forward with the rest of his legislative agenda, including a plan for tax reform.

The AHCA eliminates the taxes that funded the Affordable Care Act as well as repealing the penalty for not purchasing health insurance. It also includes cuts to Medicaid, which helps the poor cover health care costs, and overturns much of Medicaid's expansion, Reuters reported.

If the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, it could also make the availability of health care dependent on where a person lives. It grants the states the right to determine how health insurance will be managed and how it will be paid for.

Current spending on health care ranges from more than $9,000 per person in Massachusetts and Alaska to $5,031 in Arizona. Rates of Medicaid provision are similarly diverse, with 29 percent of West Virginians and 10 percent of residents in North Dakota and Wyoming being covered by the program.

States will also have the power under the bill to opt out of a requirement for insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions without raising premiums. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study cited by CNBC, 1 in 4 adults under the age of 65 have health conditions that would have prevented them from getting coverage before this provision was introduced with the ACA.

Sources: The Washington Times, Reuters via Global News, CNBC/ Photo credit: Shealah Craighead/Wikimedia Commons

Popular Video