Two House panels approve Trump's healthcare plan

Concern is growing over the price of the Obamacare replacement

Two House panels approve Trump's healthcare plan

Image: CQ-Roll Call SIPA USA/PA Images

Two key House committees have approved a Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, giving the bill its first victories.

The progress comes despite Senate’s top Republican expressing concern about the absence of a price tag for the legislation.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 23 to 16 to advance the American Health Care Act shortly before 4:30 am. Thursday after about 18 hours of debate. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31 to 23 to advance the bill at 1:45 pm after about 27 hours of debate.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady called his committee’s passage of the health-care proposal historic and praised Trump, who has vowed to counter resistance to the measure with his own campaign-style effort.

“Ways and Means Republicans just passed legislation that will help Americans finally have access to affordable health care,” Brady said in a statement after the vote.

“This legislation reflects President Trump’s strong commitment to improving health care for all Americans. I sincerely thank my colleagues for their hard work and commitment to delivering on the President’s promise."

Several hours earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers need to see the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how the bill will affect the federal deficit.

President Trump has sought to calm fears about the process, tweeting: “Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great.

“We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!”