Healthcare bill vote delayed in setback to Trump and Ryan

House leaders had originally planned to hold a Thursday evening vote on the legislation, but pushed it to Friday as they reportedly sought to shore up the votes for passage. At a meeting Thursday, a White House official posted a picture on Twitter saying the Freedom Caucus gave Trump a standing ovation when he entered the room. A vote is expected later Friday.

President Donald Trump had pointed words for the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Friday morning, calling out the group of pro-life lawmakers for allowing Planned Parenthood "to continue if they stop this plan".

Brooks, who attended a meeting at the White House on Thursday, complained the GOP measure, which he referred to as ObamaCare 2.0, does not repeal the Affordable Care Act, but instead retains numerous provisions.

Rep. Mo Brooks as of Thursday evening remained a holdout on the GOP health care bill, which he decried as a "massive Republican welfare plan".

"No deal", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said after he and his group of more than two dozen rebellious conservatives met with Trump to try to get more concessions to reduce requirements on insurance companies.

Speaker Ryan is set to address the media regarding the postponement of AHCA any moment.

The delay came hours after Meadows said his group hadn't reached agreement following a White House meeting with President Donald Trump.

U.S. president Donald Trump has abandoned negotiations and demanded a make-or-break decision on health care, threatening to leave "Obamacare" in place and move on to other issues if Friday's vote fails.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Meanwhile, there are moderate conservatives who believe parts of Obamacare need to be in this bill, such as no one being denied health care coverage based on preexisting conditions as well as the essential health care material Obamacare had in it. They think if the bill comes to the floor with less than the required number, the vote will collapse on them.

It's also possible that the GOP health care bill dies before it gets to a vote, and that the party goes back to the drawing board, or moves on to other legislative priorities.

"But yeah, I do think at the end of the day it does pass because look, we are so close and agree on so much of this", he said.

Democrats said Americans could "breathe a sigh of relief" after seven years of non-stop railing against former president Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act health care law.

"We have one opportunity to answer the healthcare crisis the American people are facing", he said then.

He had heaped pressure on die-hard conservatives with the White House framing the effort as a do-or-die chance to dismantle Obamacare.

"With no Democratic support, we couldn't quite get there", Trump said. In an updated analysis Thursday, the CBO said late changes to the bill meant to win over reluctant lawmakers would cut beneficial deficit reduction in half, while failing to cover more people.

Republican Reps. Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne, both members of the GOP whip team, are working with leadership to garner support for the bill.

  • Larry Hoffman