Ryan healthcare bill on life support after House Freedom Caucus pulls out

The House steered toward a climactic vote Friday on the Republican health care overhaul, plunging ahead despite uncertainty over whether they had the votes to prevail in what loomed as a monumental gamble for President Donald Trump and his GOP allies in Congress. Meadows has said the concessions the GOP leadership was willing to make on Essential Health Benefits (EHB) would not be substantial enough to sway him - or the rest of those opposed to AHCA in the Freedom Caucus, for that matter.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said "no deal" after leaving the meeting with the president.

Buck echoed Trump's belief Obamacare is on a failing path. "He's got a lot of issues coming".

The GOP bill would eliminate the Obama statute's unpopular fines on those who do not obtain coverage and the often generous subsidies for those who purchase insurance.

It was a stunning defeat for the new president after he had demanded House Republicans delay no longer and vote on the legislation Friday, pass or fail.

Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he meant to move as quickly as possible if he gets a House bill, getting it to a vote without any hearings.

However, the GOP bill still includes some of the most popular pieces of Obamacare, including letting children stay on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26 and including protections for people with pre-existing conditions, though insurers would be allowed to charge higher premiums to individuals whose coverage has lapsed. Other Republicans who have criticized the rise of right-wing extremism in the party, from rabid talk radio to websites trafficking in conspiracies, said the ardent right-wingers need to get over "self-inflicted blind spots" and realize that most of America isn't like them.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who as speaker was Obama's crucial lieutenant in passing the Democratic bill in the first place, couldn't resist a dig at the Republican Party's disarray.

"Our request has been consistent about Title I and essential health benefits and so that's really what we're discussing", Meadows said earlier in the day as he left a meeting with Freedom Caucus colleagues.

But Trump and Ryan have set this bill up as the only vehicle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Members of the Freedom Caucus are scheduled to go to the White House Thursday morning, the same day the House is scheduled to vote on the measure.

Republican leaders planned to meet into the night to figure out how to try to resuscitate the bill.

Brooks said he likes Pence but "he's been put in an impossible position" to push a flawed bill.

"For many of them this was a key proposed solution".

As of Wednesday, 25 House Republicans say they can not support the AHCA in its current form, according to CBS News. "Probably at this rate, in two years none of us will be here". Yet while their new concession could attract conservative members who were opposed to the current draft of the bill (although even that remains unclear), it is likely to further alienate numerous moderate Republicans (like Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania) who are already opposed to it.

Rep. Weber speculated of the bill, "If you've got 13 or 15 Freedom Caucus and 15 more moderate votes. It's just a matter of the Freedom Caucus committing to the White House that they are a yes and not moving the goal posts again".

On the other side, conservative groups including the Koch outfit argued the legislation did not go far enough in uprooting Obamacare.

"I think it's important to repeal Obamacare because it's a law that's in a death spiral right now, and we've got to give Americans some relief", Buck said.

  • Salvatore Jensen