GOP coming up short on votes to pass AHCA, reports say
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 24, 2017,
Mar 24, 2017, 23:27
U.S. House Republican leaders on Thursday postponed a planned vote on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, as the White House failed to secure support of a group of conservative lawmakers.
House GOP leaders aren't confident they have enough votes to pass their embattled health-care bill, according to a senior congressional aide, and are already considering what to do if the measure is blocked before a door-die vote hours away. Trump immediately picked up the phone, called the Washington Post, and said he was pulling the bill.
Trump's ultimatum was delivered by his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to a meeting of House Republicans convened Thursday evening to pull the divided Republicans together so they can deliver on their seven years of promises to end Obamacare, lawmakers said afterward.
Thursday was the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and Republicans had planned a vote on their repeal and replace law.
President Donald Trump is endorsing the Republican proposal on health care as "a great plan", ahead of a make-or-break vote in the House.
The White Housethat there was "no Plan B" if the AHCA didn't pass. But many Republicans, including now-President Trump, campaigned on repealing Obamacare.
A procedural vote on the Bill was set for yesterday morning, followed by a full floor vote in the afternoon. Various running tallies had indicated that the bill was between four and 15 votes short of being able to pass.
That reportedly infuriated Trump, who warned if the House didn't vote on the legislation Friday, he would see to that President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law remained intact. While the party leads in both houses, it is divided between Tea Party politicians (the Freedom Caucus) who wanted the bill completely repealed because they want lower taxes and less government, and more traditional Republicans who were anxious that their older voter base would be worse off if the bill passed.
"It throws millions - 24 million Americans - off insurance", said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut. "We're gonna get this done".
Democrats will have an easy time with this vote: they and most of their constituents prefer the ACA to the new bill, so they can safely vote no. Behind closed doors, the negotiations are said to have included an added series of amendments in hopes of making it more appealing to moderate and conservative Republicans.
"This backroom deal will kill the requirement for insurance companies to offer essential health benefits such as emergency services, maternity care, mental health care, substance addiction treatment, paediatric services, prescription drugs and many other basic essential services".