De Blasio: Ultimately, People Will Die If This Bill Becomes Law

House Health Care Bill Faces Uncertain Fate In The Senate

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning “people will die” if President Donald Trump’s health care bill becomes law.

On Thursday, House leaders came through with the votes to give Trump a major political win more than a month after Republicans’ first attempt to pass a health care bill went down in a humiliating defeat.

“Ultimately, people will die if this bill becomes law. People will die,” de Blasio said. “They’re trying to get rid of the taxes President Obama and Congress put on the wealthy that are part of paying for our health insurance system.”

Known as the American Healthcare Act, the bill has yet to receive a price tag from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and is opposed by a number of physician and health care groups, including the American Medical Association, amid concerns it could strip millions of Americans of their coverage, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The legislation squeaked through the House by a vote of 217-213 and faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where it is expected to face significant changes.

There are also several Republicans who have expressed skepticism about the bill, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported. They’ve already put together a group to work on making revisions and say they’re determined to get it done right, not quickly.

“If House Republicans hope that Senate Republicans are gonna pick up where House Republicans left off, I think that’s not gonna happen,” said Republican strategist Dan Senor.

Trump says he’s optimistic that the bill will successfully pass in the Senate.

“I think we’ll get it through,” Trump said Thursday during a photo op with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York City. “The Republicans are very united like seldom before.”

Trump said he was “so confident” that the measure would pass the Senate and vowed that premiums and deductibles would come down.

“People are suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare,” he said.

Still, Senate Democrats are promising a fight.

“We will make sure that Trumpcare doesn’t pass the Senate and can’t hurt the American people,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

The Republican bill reduces the subsidies for low-income Americans and eliminates taxes on the wealthy that pay for them. It encourages young people to buy insurance by offering an age-based tax credit for people making less than $75,000 a year.

States can also choose to allow insurers to charge higher rates for people with pre-existing conditions, but only if the states set up high risk pools to help with the costs.

Democrat Bill Pascrell of New Jersey says it could be costly for patients in the Garden State.

“For a New Jerseyan with asthma, this will mean a $4,340 premium surcharge,” he said.

The GOP bill keeps the popular Obamacare provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.

No Democrats voted for the bill and 20 Republicans voted against it, including five from New York and New Jersey.

One industry expert says New York’s strong state insurance regulations may lessen the impact if the bill  becomes law.

“New York is actually going to be least affected either way,” said Chris Pope with the Manhattan Institute. “Even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, many of these state regulations are going to remain.”

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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