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House passes healthcare bill in big victory for Trump

Published: Updated:

The US House of Representatives narrowly approved legislation on Thursday to repeal major portions of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican healthcare plan, handing a major legislative victory to President Donald Trump.

By a vote of 217-213, Republicans obtained just enough votes to push the legislation through the House, sending it to the Senate for consideration. No Democrats voted for the House bill.

The legislation is by no means sure thing in the Senate, where the Republicans hold a slender 52-seat majority in the 100-seat chamber and where only a few Republican defections could sink it.

Despite holding the White House and controlling both houses of Congress, Republicans have found that overturning Obamacare is politically fraught, in part because of voter fears that many people will lose their health insurance as a result. Republicans have long criticized Obamacare as government
overreach.

As Republicans crossed over the vote threshold to pass the bill, Democrats in the House began singing “Na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye,” a rowdy suggestion that Republicans will lose seats in the 2018 midterm elections because of their vote.

Protest march in NY

Meanwhile, more than 300 protesters marched in New York on Thursday against a scheduled visit by President Donald Trump as the House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Hey hey, ho ho Donald Trump has got to go!” members of the group shouted, protesting his policies as they marched up 12th Avenue toward adecommissioned aircraft carrier serving as a museum where Trump is scheduled to dine with the Australian prime minister later Thursday.

“Trump listen, we’re in the fight!” they sang in Spanish. Some protesters banged on pots and pans.

“Protect Americans, Save Obamacare,” one placard read.

“I’m just here to protest everything Trump,” real estate broker Nina Horowitz said. “It just gets worse and worse and he’s just not president material by any stretch of the imagination.”

“We’re hoping it can get defeated in the Senate,” Horowitz said. It’s just shocking to me.”

Multiple groups are organizing protests to mark Trump’s first visit to his hometown since becoming president. The Republican’s policies are heavily disliked in the largely Democratic city, where 80 percent of the electorate voted for his opponent Hillary Clinton last November.