House passes GOP health care bill

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., second from right, speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, following a meeting with President Donald Trump on health care reform. From left are, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relieved Republicans have pushed their prized health care bill through the House. The mostly party-line 217-213 vote advances a bill that addresses their longtime pledge to erase the 2010 Obama health care law.

Thursday’s vote sends the measure to the Senate. Many senators consider the House bill too harsh and it’s expected to undergo substantial changes.

The House measure collapsed in March due to opposition by conservative and moderate GOP lawmakers. House leaders abandoned another attempt to pass the bill last week after support was lacking.

Leaders finally rounded up enough support after adding money aimed at helping seriously ill patients afford their medical costs.

Democrats said the bill would kick millions off coverage. They predicted Republicans would pay the price in next year’s elections.

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