All Republicans Don’t Love New Healthcare Plan as Much as Party Leaders and President Trump

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., criticizes the House Republican healthcare reform plan as “Obamacare light” during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans unveiled Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation Monday evening, but they still face a long road to overhaul America’s healthcare system.

“Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a statement announcing the new legislation.

The plan comes out of two committee bills in the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees that, together, GOP leadership calls the American Health Care Act. Republicans have promised to take down Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since it became law in 2010. But now after debuting the first realistic alternative, party leaders have to work to gain the full conference’s support.

Moments after the release of the text of the American Health Care Act, House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted the plan was “Obamacare 2.0.” Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., another Freedom Caucus member, told Politico he would vote against the legislation in its current form.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was a part of a trio of Republicans who vowed to vote against early drafts of the bill, called the final version “Obamacare Lite.”

“It will not pass. Conservatives are not going to take it,” Paul tweeted.

With no Democrats expected to vote to pass the bill, House Republicans can afford to lose no more than 21 votes from their own caucus.

The Republican healthcare replacement strips the Affordable Care Act of many elements conservatives have loathed for years. The plan cuts all Obamacare taxes and expensive subsidies and does away with both the individual and employer mandates. It keeps in place several of Obamacare’s most popular features, including guaranteeing coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

Additionally, the plan includes language to direct federal funds away from the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

After reviewing the plan, President Donald Trump expressed his support.

“Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation,” Trump tweeted. “Obamacare is a complete and total disaster—is imploding fast!”

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Evan Wilt