Hospitals, Doctors Slam GOP Health Bill

Meanwhile, measure clears House Ways and Means Committee in 23-16 vote
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2017 7:47 AM CST

(Newser) – The GOP's replacement plan for ObamaCare isn't getting a universal thumbs-up, but it cleared one of its first hurdles early Thursday, the Hill reports. In a session that lasted more than 16 hours and went past 4am, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the measure in a 23-16 vote, with Republicans shooting down "off-topic" amendments proposed by Democrats, who in turn accused Republicans of trying to push the bill through while people were asleep and without a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the measure. "You're fearful the CBO will provide answers to questions that you don't like," such as bill costs or revealing who'd lose coverage, Michigan Rep. Sandy Levin said. One of the many bones of contention in the bill: a proposal to cut nearly $1 billion in CDC funding, per CNN.

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Committee Chair Kevin Brady said a "thoughtful, thorough comprehensive score" was expected before the bill ends up with the House Budget Committee, the next step in advancing the bill. Also pushing back on the controversial measure: groups representing retirees, hospitals, and medical professionals, the New York Times reports. The AARP and American Medical Association spurned the bill Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the American Nurses Association and lobbyist groups for hospitals and other health systems joined in, with the latter also mentioning the CBO's absence as an issue. "We are very concerned" the proposal "could lead to tremendous instability for those seeking affordable coverage," read a letter from the American Hospital Association and others. ABC News looks at the numbers needed to pass the legislation. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)

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