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Story highlights

"They're having a big beer party celebrating what they did," McAuliffe said

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces daunting challenges

CNN —  

The Democratic governor of Virginia tore into Republicans Friday for “celebrating” the passage of a health care bill, saying sick Americans will die if it becomes law.

“They’re having a big beer party celebrating what they did,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday on “New Day.” “People are going to lose lives. People are going to lose health coverage and they think this is a party? They think this is fun?”

“These are real people and real numbers and unfortunately the rhetoric of political campaigning has come in and it will do grave danger to the country,” he said.

The House voted Thursday to dismantle the pillars of the Affordable Care Act and make sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system. President Donald Trump hosted GOP House members at the White House following the passage of the Republican bill, which would repeal major portions of President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation.

The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces daunting challenges because of the same ideological splits between conservative and moderate Republicans that nearly killed it in the House.

Many governors criticized the plan as making significant cuts to Medicaid funding expanded under Obamacare, which some states used to cover more low-income residents.

“They are talking about slashing $800 billion, Chris, from Medicaid coverage. $800 billion,” McAuliffe said. “Who do you think is going to be affected by that?”

“What they are doing is they put people’s lives in jeopardy. People will die if this becomes law of the land,” he added.

McAuliffe said the requirements to receive Medicaid were already “very lean” in Virginia prior to the House voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“In Virginia, we have a very lean Medicaid delivery system already,” he said. “If you are a single woman with two children in Virginia, you have to make less than $6,200 a year. What do you you want me to do, cut it to $5,000 a year?”

“I don’t have room to cut. That’s the problem with the per cap,” McAuliffe said, referring to the bill’s plan to send states a fixed amount of money per Medicaid enrollee. “I can’t go back and cut.”