How to read the bill: The big picture
The Senate passed the AHCA on Friday, clearing a key procedural hurdle in the process and bringing to a close the latest chapter in the contentious battle over health care.
The bill, which passed with broad support from the Republican Party, would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a system that would dramatically reduce costs for some and dramatically increase benefits for others.
The Republican-led House has until March 9 to come up with a replacement.
Democrats and health care advocates hailed the bill, and it was the most conservative version of the health care bill that has passed the Senate since it was introduced in 2013.
The measure would allow states to expand Medicaid to cover more people and would dramatically increase spending on Medicaid by reducing subsidies to some states.
It also would allow insurance companies to sell plans that don’t meet the standards that insurers have set for their products, as well as set out new rules to make it easier for people to keep their health plans after they leave the state.
Republicans have argued that the AHC would increase premiums for people who buy coverage through state-run insurance exchanges, and that the bill is not perfect, but that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that premiums for those with preexisting conditions would fall by nearly 15 percent, largely because insurers would not be required to offer them plans that cover those conditions.
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Friday night.
The AHCA would also allow insurers to charge people up to $2,000 more per month if they can’t get coverage because of preexistent conditions.
Trump has said he would keep the plan.
“As Americans continue to watch premiums rise, it’s clear that the American Health Care Act is a terrible bill that will leave millions of Americans uninsured, while making it harder for Americans to get coverage,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement.
“This bill is the right step forward in the fight against this terrible and preventable health care crisis.”
The Senate voted 45-51 to advance the bill.
The House also passed the bill by a 52-48 vote.
Republicans control both chambers of Congress, but Democrats are united in their opposition to the bill and have vowed to continue fighting to repeal the ACA.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accused Republicans of trying to “buy the votes” by promising to repeal Obamacare “before it’s too late.”
She called on Democrats to vote against the bill in order to force Trump to keep the promise.