Obamacare Repeal Passes House Vote

House Republicans narrowly passed legislation Thursday to roll back the Affordable Care Act, delivering on a years-long campaign promise despite mounting concerns from patient advocates and healthcare groups that the legislation would strip protections enjoyed by millions of Americans.

The tight vote, 217-213, with all Democrats opposed, underscored the limited appeal of the American Health Care Act, which passed thanks to last-minute deal-making and the personal intervention of President Trump. Even so, 20 Republicans defected to vote against the measure.

After House GOP leaders had shelved previous attempts to advance the bill because of a lack of support, Thursday’s vote was a major legislative victory for Trump, likely providing momentum for his other priorities and bolstering his efforts to be seen as a leader who can govern with the Republican majority in Congress.

“Make no mistake, this is a repeal and replace of Obamacare,” Trump said at a Rose Garden reception for Republicans at the White House immediately after the vote. “It’s dead. It’s essentially dead.”

“It’s going to be an unbelievable victory when we get it through the Senate,” he added.

But the future of the bill remains highly uncertain as it moves to the Senate amid deep reservations among Republicans there about the potential that Americans will lose their healthcare coverage under the measure.

The narrow passage, which was uncertain until the final votes were cast, ensured that healthcare will once again be a dominant issue in the mid-term elections.

Needing every vote they could get, Republican leaders pressed many of their members from swing districts -- including all the California Republicans who represent areas Trump lost last year -- to vote for the bill. Democrats are likely to use those votes against Republicans when they run for reelection, just as Republicans did ousting Democrats after Obamacare was passed in 2010.