Congress Completes First Step to Repealing Health Law | NBC 6 South Florida
Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first 100 days

Congress Completes First Step to Repealing Health Law

The legislation doesn't need to be signed by the president and won't actually change a word of the hotly contested health care law

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    President-elect Donald Trump discusses when he plan to replace Obamacare in a news conference in New York City on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017)

    Congress has completed the first — and by far the easiest — step toward gutting President Barack Obama's divisive health care law.

    The House passed a budget resolution Friday afternoon in a 227-198 vote that adopts a House-Senate measure to make it easier for a subsequent "Obamacare" repeal bill to advance through the Senate without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.

    Man Sees Vera Wang Diamond Ring on Sidewalk, Finds Its Owner

    [NATL] Man Finds Vera Wang Diamond Engagement Ring on Sidewalk, Tracks Down Its Owner

    Imagine looking down and finding a pristine diamond ring lying on the sidewalk. That was how Glenn Weddell found a Vera Wang diamond ring one afternoon in Sacramento, California. But instead of keeping it, Weddell hunted down the distraught owner to return the ring in a happy reunion. His method involved posting a sign to a tree downtown and hoping for the best. 

    (Published Thursday, April 27, 2017)

    "We are closer to giving Americans relief from the problems this law has caused. Too many families have seen costs soar, quality drop, and choices reduced to one—which just isn’t a choice at all," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

    The legislation doesn't need to be signed by the president and won't actually change a word of the hotly contested health care law. But its passage was crucial if Republicans controlling Congress are to keep their longstanding promise to scuttle the law, which has delivered health coverage to about 20 million people but is saddled with problems such as rapidly rising premiums and large co-payments.

    The timetable for the upcoming repeal measure is uncertain, but Republicans want to pass it as quickly as possible. The legislation passed Friday allows a follow-up bill to pass without having to clear the 60-vote filibuster hurdle in the Senate, where Republicans control 52 seats and Democrats are gearing up for an epic battle.

    After pressure from both President-elect Donald Trump and rank-and-file lawmakers, House GOP leaders are now promising to advance legislation to repeal the health law and replace it with something else in tandem.

    Flyer Protections on Overbooked Plane Flights

    [NATL] Flyer Protections on Overbooked Plane Flights

    NBC reports on the steps that flyers and travelers can take to protect themselves, and their vacation, from an overbooked flight.

    (Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

    "We have a responsibility to step in and provide relief from this failing law," Ryan told reporters on Thursday. "And we have to do it all at the same time so that everybody sees what we're trying to do."

    Trump is promising the public that he will sign legislation to repeal and replace the law soon. Republican leaders are trying to deliver, but it seems as if Trump may be overpromising, given the enormity of the task and the political stakes involved.

    "He's not a creature of this place so there's always a bit of a learning curve," said the No. 3 Senate GOP leader, John Thune of South Dakota.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., isn't setting a timetable but said Thursday that the early repeal bill would "begin to make important progress" and that Republicans "plan to take on the replacement challenge in manageable pieces, with step-by-step reforms."

    New Artificial Wombs Stimulates Mom for Preemies

    [NATL] New Artificial Wombs Stimulates Mom for Preemies

    A new invention from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia may soon care for extremely premature babies. Artificial wombs stimulate an environment similar to a mother's womb - a method that researchers say is gentler than ventilators and incubators. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

    "Repealing and replacing Obamacare is a big challenge. It isn't going to be easy," McConnell added.

    McConnell spoke after the Senate approved the preliminary repeal measure by a near party-line 51-48 vote, drawing a Twitter thumbs-up from Trump: "Congrats to the Senate for taking the first step to #RepealObamacare — now it's onto the House!"

    The controversial law has provided health care subsidies and Medicaid coverage for millions who don't get insurance at work. It has required insurers to cover certain services like family planning and people who are already ill, and has curbed rates that the sick and elderly can be charged.

    GOP leaders hope to use their first bill to void and rewrite as much of Obama's law as they can, but so far they've provided little detail.

    Teens Overcoming Opioids Seek Treatment in Recovery Schools

    [NATL] Teens Overcoming Opioid Dependence Seek Treatment in 'Recovery Schools'

    A new method for battling teenage opioid abuse comes not in the form of a new drug or counseling method, but in special "recovery schools" that emphasize communal support and positive peer pressure. 

    (Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017)

    Republicans want to end the fines that enforce the statute's requirements that many individuals buy coverage and that larger companies provide it to workers — mandates that experts say were needed to stabilize insurers' rates. They also want to erase the taxes the law imposed on higher-income people and the health care industry, eliminate its subsidies that help people buy policies and pare back its Medicaid expansion.

    But they face internal disagreements over policy, such as how to pay for their new statute and how to protect consumers and insurers during what may be a two- or three-year phase-out of Obama's overhaul.

    They also must heed Senate rules forbidding provisions that don't directly affect taxes and spending from being safeguarded from filibusters. That means repealing important parts of the law — like the requirement that insurers offer coverage to all customers including the most ill — would have to await later bills that would need Democratic support.