The House Ways and Means Committee cleared the first hurdle in the path to replace the Affordable Care Act early Thursday morning, USA Today reports.
Committee members OK’d the new legislation after a grueling 18-hour session, with Republicans voting 23-16. A second committee, the House Energy & Commerce Committee remains locked in debate over the bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act, CNN reports.
According to the outlet, lawmakers gutted the tax penalty imposed by Obamacare which requires a tax penalty for anyone who refuses to purchase insurance. The ACA’s individual mandate clause was one portion of Obamacare GOP lawmakers eagerly sought to dismantle.
GOP members of congress still have a long uphill battle to fight not only along partisan lines against democratic colleagues, but also with strong opposition from leading medical professional organizations.
On Wednesday, the American Medical Association sent a letter to the two debating committees, cautioning against approving the legislation, CNN reports.