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USA Healthcare Program: Republican ‘kamikaze’ healthcare plan on life support - by Edward Luce

This is the week Republicans have craved for more than seven years — their chance to repeal Obamacare. Some time in the next few days the US Senate will either scrap most of Barack Obama’s signature achievement — the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Or they will abandon the effort for failure to find the votes.

Either way, America is at a fraught crossroads in its never-ending healthcare saga. If the Senate bill passes, up to 22m Americans could lose their insurance. Many more will experience a sharp reduction in healthcare support. If the vote fails, Obamacare will survive but very much as a zombie law — a stay of execution, rather than a pardon. The battle will continue. Neither outcome would be for keeps.

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“Whatever happens, we are entering a period of deep uncertainty that will cause entirely avoidable damage to the US healthcare system,” says Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard — and former head of the Congressional Budget Office. “This is a textbook example of how not to make legislation.”

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