Republican health care bill debated at marathon Congressional committee hearings

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- Republicans on Thursday achieved another victory in their effort to replace the Affordable Care Act, as a second House of Representatives panel approved the GOP's new health care bill.

But President Donald Trump and his party are receiving opposition from Democrats, some Republicans and some of the nation's top health care organizations.

Congressional committee members remained in session late Wednesday evening and into the early hours of Thursday morning, debating the merits of the proposed legislation.

"Costs are skyrocketing are going through the roof," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana).

"This is what you come up with?" said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), addressing his GOP colleagues. "This is a bad joke."

One committee did not adjourn until 4 a.m. Another met until dawn after a 24-hour session.

"Buckle in, because we will go until we are done with the amendments," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
Democrats did what they could to derail the new Republican bill.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said: "I guess if we have to stay all night, I'll stay all night to offer my amendment. I don't think it's junk. I think it's an important idea."

At one point, there was even a debate over whether to change the name of the bill to "The Republican Pay More for Less Act."

Many of the nation's leading health care groups, including the American Association of Retired Persons, have denounced the plan.

The American Medical Association wrote a letter to Congress, citing an expected decline in health insurance coverage and potential harm to vulnerable patients.

Another initial analysis projects that up to 10 million Americans could lose their health insurance. That's despite Trump's promise of "insurance for everybody."

Some conservative groups have also criticized the plan, calling it "Obamacare 2.0."

"The bill as it stands now has serious problems," said David McIntosh of the Club for Growth, "but I'm encouraged that the president has indicated they're working to make it better."
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