How to watch the health care vote in Congress

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Here’s how to watch the health care vote in Congress:

  • What: The House votes on the Republican health care plan
  • When: Thursday, May 4. Voting on the bill expected around 12:30/1 p.m. ET
  • Online: CBSN live coverage of the vote begins at 1 p.m. ET
  • CBS News will carry a special report on CBS stations 

Republican leaders are confident that they have the votes now for the health care plan that would repeal and replace Obamacare. “This will pass,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters this morning.  

The vote on the long-awaited health care bill, The American Healthcare Act, is expected to take place early Thursday afternoon around 12:30 or 1 p.m. It comes more than a month after the GOP’s first failed attempt, when the bill had to be pulled from the floor because it failed to attract enough support.    

The White House and House Republicans have been wrangling over the bill and finally agreed to add billions of dollars in funding to the bill, persuading moderate Republicans to shift their votes from “no” to “yes.” Moderate Rep. Fred Upton added $8 billion over five years to the bill — moderates wanted the additional funding to help Americans with pre-existing conditions afford their insurance premiums. The MacArthur Amendment would give states $100 billion over the next decade to help with high-risk pools 

There’s no sign that any Democrats will support the bill. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bill “a monstrosity” that will result in “soaring costs, worse coverage and restricted care” for those with pre-existing conditions. Democrats are also unhappy about the fact that the bill will not have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office prior to the vote.  

The GOP plan would reduce Obamacare’s subsidies for lower income Americans, and eliminate the taxes on the wealthy used to pay for them. Instead, people making less than $75,000 a year would get age-based tax credits.

The bill also seeks to lower premiums by allowing states to opt out of Obamacare’s minimum coverage rules, which includes maternity care and emergency services.

States could also allow insurers to charge higher rates for some with pre-existing conditions — but only if those states set up high-risk pools to help people afford it. 

It also includes language that prohibits federal funding for “essential community providers,” like Planned Parenthood. 

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Source: CBS News – Politics

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