The GOP has finally put its “death panels” to rest.
In one stroke, the House GOP passed a bill Tuesday that eliminates a requirement that all Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty.
The measure also eliminates the penalty for not having health insurance, and gives states more flexibility in how they enforce that requirement.
The bill, which also preserves the individual mandate, comes as Republicans are seeking to shore up support for their health care bill.
The GOP had promised a “death panel” would be introduced this week.
However, Republicans were also forced to withdraw a similar measure in the Senate after Democrats objected to some of its provisions.
The two bills have been largely overshadowed by the health care battle, with President Donald Trump continuing to criticize the GOP health care legislation.
But both were a big win for the GOP, which is now looking to rally voters ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
They are also a victory for Democrats, who are still searching for a strategy to rally the country behind their health insurance repeal effort.
GOP health bill: Trump calls it ‘death panels’ GOP health plan, introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan, would roll back key health care provisions including the individual and employer mandate, expand Medicaid, and end the federal subsidies that pay for insurance.
The House GOP bill, released Tuesday, would require all Americans to have health coverage or pay $95 to buy it.
It also removes the penalty, which some Democrats say could make it harder for low-income Americans to afford insurance, if they don’t have it.
The Republican bill would repeal the requirement that people buy insurance, but it would not provide a way to avoid that penalty.
And while the GOP bill doesn’t go as far as Democrats want, it does not end the mandate.
For instance, it would let states expand Medicaid to cover low- and moderate-income residents, and it would allow states to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to older and sicker people.
In a statement, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the bill’s lead author, called it a “step in the right direction” that would allow Americans to buy insurance.
“As long as the federal government continues to mandate the purchase of insurance, Americans will not have a chance to buy coverage at a reasonable price,” he said.
“This bill will allow states the freedom to offer lower premiums, while protecting Americans’ right to choose the health plan that best meets their needs.
It’s an important first step to making health insurance affordable for millions of Americans.”
Ryan, the GOP House speaker, had proposed the bill as a “continuing resolution” in order to avoid a government shutdown that could force lawmakers to use a “super-committee” to raise the debt ceiling.
He said the GOP “hasn’t yet taken any action on a bill that does not include the individual, employer, or Medicaid mandates.”
GOP health reform bill: Democrats are outraged The Senate health bill, introduced in March, would allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan through their 20s, and would eliminate the federal Medicaid expansion and block the federal subsidy to cover the cost of a family plan that helps low-wage workers.
But Democrats are not happy with the House bill.
“The House GOP has introduced a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and other protections for millions who depend on Medicaid and Medicare,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
“It’s shocking that House Republicans want to roll back Medicaid expansion, block funding for essential health benefits and eliminate the protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.”
The Senate bill would also end the Medicaid expansion for states that expand the program to help low- to moderate-wage earners.
Murray added that she is concerned about the GOP’s “death-panel” proposal.
“I hope that they do not try to create a ‘death panel’ by eliminating essential health protections and mandating that people with preexxisting conditions be treated differently than everyone else,” Murray said.
Democratic lawmakers also blasted the House health bill.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D.
Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Health Committee, said the bill “treats the American people with little regard for what they need.”
“This is a disgrace to America and a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Republicans are proposing a plan that makes millions of people worse off while doing nothing to solve the problem,” Manchin said in a statement.
“When the GOP is in power, it kills jobs, destroys health care, and forces Americans to choose between their health and their lives.”