health care

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Last month, the House passed legislation intended to repeal and replace one of the Obama Administration's signature legacies: the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. Most analysts believe the bill, called the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, faces a very uncertain future in the Senate, which hasn't formally begun debate on the bill. 

As Congress moves forward with efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, some people in Wisconsin are holding their breath. They're uncertain -- or fearful -- about what to expect next.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, appeared confident last week. He said Congress would end former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"There is a fundamental and urgent choice at the heart of this debate," Ryan said, as the Wisconsin Republican persuaded colleagues before Thursday's vote.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

The House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted measure that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the first step toward keeping one of President Trump's campaign pledges and a victory for GOP lawmakers who have long railed against Obamacare, as the ACA is commonly known. The vote was 217-213.

The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain — and where top lawmakers in both parties are already signaling that there is a long legislative process ahead.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Republicans finally got their health care bill.

After seven years of repeal-and-replace rhetoric against the Affordable Care Act, two presidential campaigns waged for and against it and a recent high-profile failure, House Republicans passed their bill.

The trouble is this bill is unlikely to ever become law — at least in its current iteration.

Repeal and replace is on-again, off-again, but that doesn't mean the rules affecting your insurance will stay the same in the meantime.

The Trump administration late Thursday issued a final rule aimed at stabilizing the existing health law's insurance marketplace that could have rapid, dramatic effects — perhaps as soon as early summer — on people who do not get insurance through work, and buy it on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges instead.

People came armed with numbers to the hearing the Joint Finance committee conducted on Gov. Walker's proposed budget for the state for the next two years. And many wanted to testify about health care issues.

Carl Lock of Brookfield told the legislators that many Wisconsinites suffered when the governor, a few years ago, rejected federal money to allow people earning up 133% of the poverty line to take part in Medicaid programs. Instead, Walker moved all people living above poverty off the state’s low-income health care program, BadgerCare, and into the federal marketplace.

President Trump is doing his best to put a good face on defeat in his party's attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

His strategy is simple: declare that the law is failing. And he is selling that message in his own distinctly Trumpian way: concocting it out of simple, bold words and then hammering that message home, over and over: Obamacare, in his words, will "explode."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

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It was an uphill fight for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan on Thursday, as he tried in vain to must enough votes to pass a health care replacement bill.  The House Speaker canceled a vote on the measure and rescheduled it for Friday.  

In the meantime, President Trump says if the GOP health plan fails, he's ready to move on to other things.  

WUWM spoke with Christopher Murray, of Marquette University's Les Aspin Center for Government.

He says there's a lot riding on this for Ryan.

Throughout the campaign, President Trump billed himself as a master negotiator who would make the "best deals" for the American people.

Updated at 9:48 p.m. ET

The White House issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday: Vote for the current GOP health care replacement plan or leave the Affordable Care Act in place and suffer the political consequences.

When House Speaker Paul Ryan says he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act so that people can buy insurance that's right for them, and not something created in Washington, part of what he's saying is that he wants to get rid of so-called essential health benefits.

That's a list of 10 general categories of medical care that all insurance policies are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans will be tested today on the strength of party unity in the Trump era and their party's ability to deliver on the promises they've made to the voters that sent them here.

"This is our chance and this is our moment. It's a big moment," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters earlier this week. "And I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a 'rendezvous with destiny' we have right here."

It’s been a little more than two weeks since House Republicans unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have lined up to blast it. Yet, Speaker Paul Ryan says the House will vote on an updated version Thursday.

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