MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The House voted on the GOP’s health care plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and it narrowly passed.
Following the vote, President Donald Trump, along with other Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), congratulated House Republicans on passing their bill.
“As far as I’m concerned, your premiums are going to start to go down. Make no mistake about it – this is going to repeal and replace“What a great group of people. And they’re not even doing it for the party, they’re doing it for the country because we suffered with Obamacare.”
“Today is a big day but it is just one step in the process,” said Ryan.
Trump himself lobbied Republicans to support the plan. But the victory could be temporary. Up next is the Senate vote.
Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn said the house bill would have to go through considerable changes in order to get the 51 votes needed to pass the upper chamber. Republicans are using rules known as budget reconciliation to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. This means they need only 51 votes to pass the bill in the Senate.
Republicans say the bill is needed to provide health care coverage for people who have seen their premiums rise under ‘Obamacare.’
“The problems facing American families as a result of Obamacare are just too dire and too urgent,” said Ryan.
Democrats said the Republican plan will cause people with pre-existing conditions to lose their insurance.
“God have mercy on your soul. I am a person living with a pre-existing disease. I am a breast cancer survivor,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
Now the bill moves to the other side of Capitol Hill where the Senate still has to vote on the plan.
“We have to thank President Trump for getting us over the finish line in the House. I’m confident he will do likewise in the Senate,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY).
Republicans say major changes are needed to get the bill through the Senate before sending it back to the House.
“I think the House Freedom Caucus made the bill a lot less bad. That’s the nicest thing I could think to say,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Democrats say they will stand united against the bill, forcing Republicans to own the health care vote in the next election.