House Republicans voted to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature health reform law on May 4. The House approved the measure by a vote of 217-213, just one vote more than the 216 needed. No Democrats voted for the bill. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration through a procedure known as a budget reconciliation that requires only 51 votes. Despite this lower threshold, it is unclear if the bill has enough support to be enacted in its current form.
Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), an estimated 24 million people would lose their healthcare coverage. The bill would eliminate the funding available under the ACA and would roll back the ACA expansion of Medicaid that includes funding for supportive housing services that benefit people experiencing homelessness. These changes will be devastating to low income families who depend on Medicaid for access to healthcare and supportive services.
Republicans tried to bring the bill up for a vote in April, but had to pull the legislation at the last minute when they could not drum up enough votes to support it. After some last-minute deal-making, enough moderate Republicans who had initially opposed AHCA changed their position, allowing Republican leadership to bring the bill to the House floor and get it passed.