House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move

The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report 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 KatkoProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Democratic lawmakers call on Judiciary Committee to advance 'revenge porn' law Katie Hill resignation reignites push for federal 'revenge porn' law MORE (N.Y) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (Pa.), who face potentially tough reelection races next year, and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithChina threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight 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, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill Overnight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban 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 WaldenHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban 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.