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House committee approves health care proposal

[JURIST] The House Budget Committee [official website] on Thursdayapproved [press release, speech] a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 19-17 vote, which received opposition from both parties, sends the American Health Care Act [text, PDF] to the House Rules Committee. The proposal is the first step [USA Today report] in a promise made by many Republican congressman who promised to repeal the ACA during their campaign. Those opposed claim [Fox News report] that the bill "is not what the American people want." The bill has faced an increase of opposition after a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) [official website] report [text, PDF] that predicted 24 million fewer Americans would be insured and that premiums would increase in the short-term before decreasing long-term with the new proposal. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price dismissed the negative aspects of the report as "not believable" and focused on the predictions by the CBO that the new proposal would be friendly to tax payers and decrease the federal deficit by $337 billion over the next decade. Even if the bill passes through the House, there are concerns that it lacks to votes to pass the Senate [official websites].

Repealing the ACA was a significant element of the latest election cycle. Senators proposed [JURIST report] the initial ACA replacement bill at the end of January. This came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order [JURIST report] aimed at repealing the ACA, shortly after being sworn in. The Senate had prepared for the repealing of the ACA earlier that month when it voted 51-48 [JURIST report] to prevent the process from being subject to a filibuster. Also in January, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion [JURIST report] to stay a federal court order preventing the federal government from enforcing an ACA regulation that protects transgender people and women from discrimination in health care. On the same day the former Secretary of Health and Human Services warned [JURIST report] that a repeal of the ACA without an immediate replace would create a dangerous situation for American healthcare.

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