Health:

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Alan Fram and An­drew Tay­lor Alan Fram and An­drew Tay­lor are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

House joins Se­nate in pre­par­ing for speedy re­peal of the Af­ford­able Care Act.

WASHINGTON — As­cen­dant Repub­li­cans drove a bud­get through Congress on Fri­day that gives them an early but crit­i­cal vic­tory in their cru­sade to scrap Pres­i­dent Obama’s health care over­haul.

The vote trains the spot­light on whether they and Don­ald Trump can de­liver on re­peated pledges to not just erase the statute but re­place it.

Demon­strat­ing the GOP’s will­ing­ness to plunge into a defin­ing but risky bat­tle, the House used a near party-line 227-198 roll call to ap­prove a bud­get that pre­vents Se­nate Democrats from de­rail­ing a fu­ture bill, thus far un­writ­ten, an­nulling and re­shap­ing Obama’s land­mark 2010 law. The bud­get, which won Se­nate ap­proval early Thurs­day, does not need the pres­i­dent’s sig­na­ture.

“The ‘Un­af­ford­able’ Care Act will soon be his­tory!” Trump tweeted Fri­day in a dig at the statute’s name, the Af­ford­able Care Act.

But the real work looms in com­ing months as the new ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans write leg­is­la­tion to erase much of the health care law and re­place it with a GOP ver­sion. Repub­li­cans still have in­ter­nal di­vi­sions over what that new law would look like, though past GOP pro­pos­als have cut much of the ex­ist­ing law’s fed­eral spend­ing and eased cov­er­age re­quire­ments while re­ly­ing more on tax ben­e­fits.

Fri­day’s fi­nal vote was pre­ceded by de­bate that saw hy­per­bole on both sides and un­der­scored how the two par­ties have al­ter­nate-uni­verse views of Obama’s over­haul. Democrats praised it for ex­tend­ing cov­er­age to tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, help­ing fam­i­lies af­ford poli­cies and se­niors buy pre­scrip­tions, while Repub­li­cans fo­cused on the ris­ing pre­mi­ums and de­ductibles and lim­ited ac­cess to doc­tors and in­sur­ers that have plagued many.

House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Fran­cisco, said the GOP was mov­ing to­ward mak­ing things worse for health care con­sumers. “They want to cut ben­e­fits and run,” she said of Repub­li­cans.

Al Drago / New York Times

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (third from left), says Pres­i­dent Obama’s health care law has not ful­filled prom­ises to lower costs and ex­pand choices.

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