How everyone is reacting to the House passing the GOP health care bill

Some Senate Republicans aren't on board with the plan yet.

May 4, 2017, 4:06 PM

— -- The passage of the Trump administration's health care law by the House provoked strong reactions on both sides of the political divide.

Even as the House GOP leadership celebrated the measure's passing on Thursday, Senate Republicans, who will be next to consider the bill and ultimately decide its fate, didn't appear to be rallying behind the president's health care overhaul just yet.

President Trump praised the vote as a major victory, saying that it brought together the Republican party. And while the razor-thin margin of four members in the 217-213 vote to repeal and replace Obama's signature health care law did unite most of the splintered GOP caucus in the House, it remains to be seen how the Republicans in the Senate will react to the bill.

Democrats remain united in their opposition to the GOP effort and various health care interest groups have also weighed in on the proposed changes to Obamacare.

Here's how people on all sides of the issue are reacting:

Senate Republicans remain circumspect

While Republicans in the Senate largely agree that Obamacare must be changed, they haven't rallied around the House plan as the solution.

"I will not support it in its current form in the Senate, and am confident that what the Senate considers and approves will be different from the House bill," said Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, a swing state Republican.

"I’ve already made clear that I don’t support the House bill as currently constructed because I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Ohio's Medicaid expansion population, especially those who are receiving treatment for heroin and prescription drug abuse," said Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, another GOP member from a purple state.

“Today was an important step. I am encouraged that House Republicans were able to come together and pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare," said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in a statement. "Our work now goes forward in the Senate, where we should continue to improve the bill."

Trump administration cheers

Many Republicans and Trump officials praised the bill as a major accomplishment for the administration and the party.

BREAKING NEWS ? The House of Representatives just voted to #RepealAndReplace #Obamacare.

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 4, 2017

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price called the bill "a victory for the American people." "Today, the House of Representatives has begun to deliver on President Trump’s promise to repeal a broken law and replace it with solutions that put patients in charge," he said.

“For years, millions of Americans have struggled under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and have pleaded with their elected officials to repeal it and replace it with a plan that works for American families," said the House Freedom Caucus. "Today, the House of Representatives began that process by passing the American Health Care Act."

"The time to act is now, and that's exactly what Republicans have done," said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. "President Trump promised voters he would fix our healthcare system; and with the help of House Republicans, the American Healthcare Act sets us on a course to fix what the Democrats broke."

Democrats united in opposition

Meanwhile, not one Democrat in the House supported the bill -- and Democrats in the Senate are already blasting the plan.

"This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate," said Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer in a statement after the vote. "Rather than trying to pass a different version of the same Trumpcare bill that would mean higher costs and less care, Senate Republicans should refuse to follow their House colleagues over a cliff, reject repeal, and work with Democrats to improve our healthcare system in a bipartisan way."

On the House side, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi said that Republicans will "pay the price" for passing the bill in 2018. "The GOP just rushed to kick millions off of their health care before we have a CBO score to know the cost," she tweeted.

Priorities USA, a super PAC that backed Hillary Clinton for President, called the plan "heartless" and "ill-considered."

Interest groups weigh in

But several interest groups that opposed the legislation before it passed issued blistering statements following the vote.

“This is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. It makes it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family," said Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood.

Faiz Shakir from the American Civil Liberties Union called the bill "cruel," adding that it represents "a giant step backwards." "“The American Health Care Act aims to take health care coverage away from millions of Americans, costing many of them their lives," he said in a statement.

"The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question," said Andrew Gurman, the president of the American Medical Association.

"AARP is deeply disappointed in today’s vote by the House to pass this deeply flawed health bill," said Nancy LeaMond from AARP. "The bill will put an Age Tax on us as we age, harming millions of American families with health insurance, forcing many to lose coverage or pay thousands of dollars more for health care."

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