House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move

The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE’s key ObamaCare moves, advancing a bill that Democrats have framed as protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Passed in a largely party-line vote of 230-183, the bill seeks to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain ObamaCare rules.

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Republicans argued that Democrats were simply trying to score political points with a bill that did not actually add new protections for people with preexisting conditions. Democrats, meanwhile, said that the legislation was needed to fight Trump’s efforts to weaken the health law’s current protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Four Republicans voted with Democrats for the bill, including Reps. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoLawmakers advocate for establishment of standalone House and Senate cyber panels Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Facebook experiences widespread outage Lawmakers introduce bill to identify and protect critical groups from cyber threats MORE (N.Y) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickLaws should unite, not divide Army veteran unveils challenge to Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania House race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (Pa.), who face potentially tough reelection races next year, and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithOvernight Defense & National Security — Breakneck evacuations continue as Biden mulls deadline Overnight Defense & National Security: Outcry over Biden's Afghanistan deadline Lawmakers from both parties push back at Biden's Aug. 31 deadline MORE (N.J.).

Democrats have put forward a range of bills they frame as protecting people with preexisting conditions, looking to hammer Republicans on an issue that helped Democrats win back the House last year.

Democrats say the move announced by the Trump administration last year allows states to cast aside important protections under ObamaCare.

For example, the new guidance would allow ObamaCare subsidies to be used to buy cheaper plans, which Democrats deride as “junk” plans, that do not have to cover preexisting conditions.

“This legislation should not be necessary, but unfortunately the Trump Administration continues to take actions that undermine the health care of millions of Americans, including the more than 133 million people with pre-existing conditions,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Democrats announce bill to rein in tech algorithms House Democrats ramp up probe of FDA approval of Alzheimer's drug Intercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum MORE (D-N.J.).

Republicans, though, said the Trump administration’s action was simply giving states more flexibility.

“They claim their agenda is ‘for the people,’” said Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Ex-Rep. John Shimkus joins lobbying firm Lobbying world MORE (Ore.), the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Well, this bill is ‘for the politics.’”

“Let me be very clear: This bill has nothing to do with protecting Americans with preexisting conditions,” he added. “This bill has everything to do with eliminating health care options and choices for states.”

The bill is not expected to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The House will vote on additional health care legislation next week that includes measures to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of cheaper, skimpier insurance plans and to provide funding for enrollment outreach efforts that Trump slashed.