At about 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the American Health Care Act, the GOP's replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, on a 23-16 party-line vote. The markup session began Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., and the other House committee with jurisdiction over the legislation, the Energy and Commerce Committee, is still debating the bill. Once both committees approve the bill, it will go to debate before the full House.
GOP leaders unveiled the bill on Monday night, and Democrats objected to marking up the bill without a score of how much it would cost and how many people it would insure from the Congressional Budget Office. They also criticize its large tax benefits for insurance companies, their top executives, and other high-income Americans, plus its major modifications to Medicaid. Unable to stop the bill, Democrats used parliamentary tactics to draw the proceeding out, including making the Energy and Commerce Committee clerk read the entire bill out loud, a process that took an hour.
The bill also faces opposition from major medical groups, AARP, and conservative lawmakers, who argue that it is too similar to ObamaCare and are demanding a full repeal. President Trump strongly backs the bill and has vowed to push it through.