The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed legislation to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program, known as Obamacare. In the most contentious congressional vote of Trump’s presidency, lawmakers on Thursday voted 217 to 213 to pass the bill, the American Health Care Act, and to dismantle Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
No Democrats backed the bill, but some 20 Republicans voted in opposition. The vote is a victory for President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan after they suffered a crushing defeat in March. Republicans were forced to pull the measure because of a lack of votes, with Speaker Ryan admitting that the party was not able to reach consensus on the replacement bill. Trump had blamed Democrats and promised that Obamacare would “explode.”
Just before the vote, Ryan declared on the House floor, “This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people.” “A lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote,” added. “Today we made history by taking the first important step toward rescuing hardworking families from the failures and skyrocketing costs of Obamacare,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement issued following the vote. During the voting, Trump tweeted Republicans would gather for “big press conference at the beautiful Rose Garden of the White House” immediately afterwards.