SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a victory for Republicans on Thursday. The American Health Care Act, or Trumpcare, passed in the House of Representatives by a 4-vote margin.
“I think Trumpcare is going to be better, but only if Obamacare is completely eliminated,” said William Edwards, a retired PVTA bus driver from Agawam. “Call it what you want, it’s for the people. There’s a lot of people out there hurting. There’s a lot of people suffering and they need better insurance and better coverage.”
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The GOP’s bill would eliminate the Obamacare requirement that everyone have health insurance or face a tax penalty. Trumpcare could hurt low income families, who receive help with out-of-pocket costs.
“It’s essentially a gigantic tax break for the riches people in the country,” said Dr. Ira Helfand of the Family Care Medical Center in Springfield. “At least 20-million people will lose their health coverage, that’s going to be terrible for their health. We know that when people lose their coverage they stop seeking medical attention until they’re really sick and then it ends up costing more to society as a whole.”
The health care bill has a provision to allow states to set premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it’s certain to be changed.