Moving a step closer to one of Donald Trump's early campaign promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans finally released their Obamacare replacement bill on Monday. Though the party has been anxious to pull the strings on the former president's landmark healthcare bill, they could not do so until they decided on an alternative. Understanding how the replacement bill will be different from Obamacare will require lots of research in the days to come, but first, what's the new piece of legislation actually called?
Since its release, the GOP has been pushing a "Read The Bill" hashtag on Twitter. By that, it means visit HouseGOP.leadpages.co to check out the specifics of the legislation — or at least the specifics that have been laid out so far. There are still numerous important factors, such as cost and coverage estimates, missing from the description.
Upon visiting the page, though, the block letter header makes the Obamacare replacement bill's name quite clear. By the looks of it, the legislation will be called the "American Health Care Act."
"We're delivering on our promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with President Trump's proposed health care reforms," the site reads, and offers a PDF version of the bill itself, which conveniently has yet to describe exactly how many people could lost coverage during the transition.
The bill may have an official name and drafted text, but it still has a long way to go before it's passed and implemented. The Washington Post reported after the draft text was released that already four Republican senators have promised to give the bill a thumbs-down if it leaves millions of Americans uninsured — something Trump said would not happen when he guaranteed "insurance for everybody" under the replacement plan. More specifically, these four senators won't tolerate rolling back the Medicaid expansion that occurred under the ACA. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Prior to even reaching the House or Senate floor, the bill will have to go through a Committee markup session on Wednesday. From there, it will go to the Budget Committee, who will then send it to the floor for that fateful vote. As CNN reported, the bill would need 218 House votes and 51 Senate votes in total before it reaches Trump's desk to be signed into action. Seeing as there are currently 52 Republican senators, the bill will have to win over nearly all of the Republican Party, if not a few Democratic or independent senators to ensure its passing.
And in the meantime, there will certainly be much analysis on how the American Health Care Act and how it differs from its Affordable Care Act predecessor.