Pairing Tax Reform With Infrastructure Package Appeals to Centrist Democrats

House Speaker Paul Ryan says his chamber will take another crack at a health care overhaul.

Republicans say they're not giving up on their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare despite their failure in the House last week to secure enough votes for legislation that would have done just that.

Trump tweeted Monday night that the "Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory". Meadows spoke nearly daily with Trump or a member of his team in an effort to negotiate a new bill, but the group's interaction with House leadership was minimal.

Republicans said they spoke to each other bluntly in the meeting with "a lot of angst and a lot of unhappiness" much of it aimed at the House Freedom Caucus, said caucus member Rep. The group counted 36 members in 2015, according to Pew Research Center.

"Mark, I'm gonna come after you", Trump said at the meeting last Tuesday, half jokingly.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said, "We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do".

He also attacked anew the House Freedom Caucus, about three dozen hardcore conservatives who largely opposed the GOP bill.

The Republican health plan created to replace the Obama-era health law known as the Affordable Care Act would not have taken full effect for a few years anyway - and now it's dead.

We're looking at all kinds of options to get to yes.

"The speaker has encouraged members to continue talking so we can get to a place of yes and fulfill our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare", Strong said. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, filed a discharge petition to force a vote on a "clean" repeal of Obamacare, a highly unusual parliamentary measure for a member of the majority party to undertake against leadership.

Since his plan to finance a tax cut for the rich by throwing millions off Medicaid died without a vote, President Trump has repeatedly assured the American people that their health-care system will collapse under his watch.

So even if the ACA remains "the law of the land" as Ryan said, there probably are still plenty of changes coming in the next 12 months, Schillinger said; it's just not clear what those changes will be.

Later amended versions of AHCA also called for weakening the "essential health benefits" requirement for health insurers, which could remove services such as maternity care and mental health resources from automatic coverage.

If Trump's intention was the latter, he could very well execute his vow - thanks to a lawsuit brought by House Republicans in 2014.

Some Republicans advocate working with Democrats on big legislation, insinuating that they could be better legislative partners than the far-right Republicans. Even if it did get a floor vote, it might not pass the House, and if it did, it wouldn't pass the Senate.

"I am asking Members to send them any suggestions for improving the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible", Pelosi wrote in the letter.

  • Salvatore Jensen