Democrats see a winning issue in opposing GOP health bill

ATLANTA (AP) — It’s “Trumpcare” now, and Republicans have to answer for it.

After dozens of symbolic votes, House Republicans finally pushed through a bill to gut Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, with President Donald Trump hailing the replacement as “a great plan” that has “really brought the Republican Party together.”

Democrats are giddy about what could be severe political consequences for the GOP.

Even though the Senate still has to act, Republicans now largely own a measure that would curtail, and in some cases take away completely, benefits Americans have embraced after seven years. Chief among them: a guarantee of paying the same amount for coverage regardless of health history. Budget analysts estimate 24 million people would lose insurance over a decade, 14 million in the first year, and older Americans would face higher costs.

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The Senate, meanwhile, will write its own health care bill, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in Louisville while attending the Kentucky Derby. No timetable will be announced, McConnell said, and he added: “We don’t anticipate any Democratic help at all, so it will be a simple majority vote situation.”

In the House, 217 Republicans voted yes.

“Progressives are going to hang this around the necks of every one of those Republicans,” said Angel Padilla, co-founder of the liberal group Indivisible. “These Republicans voted to take away peoples’ health care. This is going to come back to bite them.”

Democrats are convinced the GOP repeal bill jeopardizes the Republican monopoly in Washington, starting with majority control of the House, and the party’s advantages in statehouses from Nevada to New Hampshire.

The potential fallout crystallized almost immediately.

Fundraising surged nationwide as new recruits stepped up to challenge vulnerable Republicans who backed the plan. Among the vulnerable:…

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