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AHCA passes House by 4 votes — Faces uncertain future in Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act in a 217-213 vote mostly along party lines, Politico reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. All 193 Democrats voted against the bill. In the Republican party, 217 voted in favor of the bill, 20 voted against and one person did not vote, according to the New York Times.

2. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Politico reports its "passage is far from secured."

3. The newest AHCA iteration made changes to several key ACA pillars, including the pre-existing condition mandate, The Chicago Tribune reports.

The Tribune reports the GOP added an amendment to the AHCA that would allow individuals and states to seek waivers from the law. A possible waiver would allow insurance companies to consider health status and pre-existing conditions when writing individual or small group policies. Another possible waiver would allow states to create their own essential benefit lists.

These waivers would only be effective in states that seek a waiver, and if the beneficiary has let coverage lapse for longer than 63 days.

4. The Tribune reports it is difficult to pinpoint the exact impact the changes will have on the American people, because the Congressional Budget Office never assessed the bill.

5. Medpage Today reports millions would lose coverage under the revised AHCA, and older Americans would be subject to higher premiums.

6. Medpage reports an additional amendment would provide states with an additional $8 billion over five years to set up high-risk pools for patients with preexisting conditions. There was already $130 billion in the bill for such funding.

The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress estimates states would need at least $200 billion to properly fund such pools.

7. American Medical Association President Andrew Gurman, MD, released a statement on behalf of the organization:

"The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system. The AMA urges the Senate and the Administration to work with physician, patient, hospital and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations."

8. Medscape reports several other medical organizations' reactions were "overwhelmingly negative."

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