Debate in US Congress over healthcare replacement

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Washington, March 9 (IANS) A “war of words” broke out in the US Congress over a new healthcare law replacing former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act or the ‘Obamacare’, the media reported.

On Wednesday, two House committees began the debate of the two bills comprising the Republican proposal to overturn Obamacare signed in 2010, and replace it with a new plan, thus fulfilling a long-standing Republican promise and policy dream, Efe news reported.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has not been able to analyze the content of the lengthy and detailed bills and issue a report on their likely impact, and so Democrats insisted that it was necessary to stymie the proceedings until such an analysis had been made public.

The Democrats have been very critical of the new plan, claiming that Obamacare has provided access to health insurance, and therefore healthcare, to over 20 million Americans who did not have it before, and they criticised the Republican plan that, among other things, cuts subsidies for low-income citizens who presently rely on them to be able to pay their insurance premiums.

“It’s always more effective to have a straightforward, simple, branded line of attack against your opponent,” a Democratic campaign operative told The Hill magazine.

“To the extent that ‘TrumpCare’ (Democratss branding of the Republican legislation) is a brand or phrase that both encapsulates the anger voters will have toward the policies this plan puts forward.”

However, the White House steered clear of putting the President’s personal stamp on the legislation, the magazine said.

“We’re not into labels,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted that the law should go by its official name – the American Health Care Act.

–IANS

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