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Republicans' ACA repeal bill not easiest medicine to swallow for many


U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., talks about the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, during a March 8 news conference in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Democrats, once they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, needed more than a year to piece together the elements to pass the Affordable Care Act with a veto-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate in 2010.

The Republicans, now that they control both the executive and legislative branches of government, indicated it could take until next year to pull together a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, once it was introduced in the House March 7, the American Health Care Act has moved with astonishing speed.

Needing the approval of four House committees before it goes to the full chamber, the bill has been approved by two of those committees in two days -- even before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office can weigh in with its "score" of the bill that projects its costs and benefits -- putting the measure on pace to reach the House floor before the end of the month.

And in a March 9 news conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said the bill is intentionally crafted in such a way so that it cannot be filibustered in the Senate, where the GOP has a 52-48 majority, and where only 40 votes can doom a bill.

Speed, though, does not necessarily mean popularity.

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