Date
28 July 2017
US President Donald Trump (center) gathers with Vice President Mike Pence (right) and congressional Republicans in the White House after the House of Representatives repealed major parts of Obamacare. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump (center) gathers with Vice President Mike Pence (right) and congressional Republicans in the White House after the House of Representatives repealed major parts of Obamacare. Photo: Reuters

House repeals Obamacare but bill faces tougher fight in Senate

The US House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill to repeal Obamacare on Thursday, handing Republican President Donald Trump a victory that could prove short-lived as the healthcare legislation heads into a likely tough battle in the Senate, Reuters reports.

The vote to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, which enabled 20 million more Americans to get health insurance, was Trump’s biggest legislative win since he took office in January, putting him on a path to fulfilling one of his key campaign promises as well as a seven-year quest by Republican lawmakers.

With the 217-213 vote, Republicans obtained just enough support to push the legislation through the House, sending it to the Senate for consideration. No Democrats voted for the bill.

The legislation is by no means a sure thing in the Senate, where the Republicans hold a slender 52-seat majority in the 100-seat chamber and where only a few Republican defections could sink it.

Despite holding the White House and controlling both houses of Congress, Republicans have found that overturning Obamacare is politically fraught, in part because of voter fears that many people will lose their health insurance as a result. Republicans have long criticized Obamacare as government overreach.

As Republicans crossed over the vote threshold to pass the bill, Democrats in the House began singing “Na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye,” a rowdy suggestion that Republicans will lose seats in the 2018 midterm elections because of their vote.

Within an hour of the vote, Trump celebrated with House lawmakers in the White House Rose Garden.

“I went through two years of campaigning and I’m telling you, no matter where I went, people were suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare,” Trump said. “We are going to get this passed through the Senate. I am so confident.”

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