House Republicans introduce changes to health care legislation

PHOTO: House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference on the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2017.PlaySusan Walsh/AP Photo
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House Republicans introduced a number of changes to their controversial health care legislation -- which has sparked criticism from both conservatives and liberals.

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The American Health Care Act, designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature legislation, featured a series of tax credits and was designed to give access to health care.

But an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicated that some 24 million more people would be uninsured in a decade than under the current law.

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    "We feel good about where we are, and are continuing to make really strong progress in our discussions with members," one senior GOP aide said. "We're doing the work to have a good vote on final passage this week."

    According to GOP leadership, the amendment accelerates the repeal of Obamacare taxes, lowering the threshold for deducting medical expenses from taxes and only allowing federal tax credits to be used for health plans that do not cover abortions.

    It would also prevent new states from opting in to the expansion of Medicaid and increases funding for the disabled and elderly, the GOP leadership said.

    "With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled," said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

    "With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare."

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