GOP leaders acknowledge health bill changes, might delay vote

  • GOP leaders acknowledge health bill changes, might delay vote

GOP leaders acknowledge health bill changes, might delay vote

Virginia Republican Rep. David Brat, a Freedom Caucus board member, said Wednesday he would vote no in committee.

Leaders continue to work toward the 216 votes needed to pass the health care bill led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, and believe some of the changes they are willing to make will secure additional support.

"We can not support AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations", said the AMA's chief executive officer, James L. Madara, in a letter to the House committee's leadership. Once that came out, there was a risk of losing even more members of the Republican party to back the bill once voting commences.

Ryan backed away Wednesday from his previous rhetoric of calling the measure's fate a "binary choice" for Republican lawmakers.

Republicans remain deeply divided over their USA healthcare overhaul, Trump's first major legislative initiative and one that aims to make good on his campaign pledge to repeal and replace the healthcare plan put in place by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have been pointedly urging their ranks to think about the need to govern, after serving nearly exclusively as an opposition party for eight years under Obama.

Health secretary Tom Price was using phone calls to lobby Republican governors, some of whom oppose the bill's phasing out of Obama's expansion of Medicaid to 11 million lower-income Americans.

Because I want the states to get the money and to run the program if they want to run it.

Obamacare expanded insurance to about 20 million Americans but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under the Republican plan.

McHenry said he sees "very little opportunity" to move up the Medicaid expansion freeze and that the tax credits are unlikely to be altered "in any substantive way" - a sign that leadership and the rank and file are not on the same page regarding changes to the bill.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday stepped up his fight for support on Republicans' plan to dismantle Obamacare, wooing some conservative lawmakers at the White House while legislation advanced toward a possible vote in the House of Representatives next week.

Conservatives have criticized the legislation as too similar to Obama's law. One leading House conservative said the alterations were insufficient and claimed enough allies to sink the measure, and support among GOP moderates remained uncertain.

The RSC has been pushing to begin the Medicaid expansion freeze in 2018, rather than 2020 as proposed in the bill, and adding a work requirement to the tax credits proposed for helping low-income individuals purchase insurance. The legislation also faces a hard path in the Senate.

"Anything that can get 218 votes and make the bill better, we're all about it", Rep.

Chris Bond, spokesman for the chief GOP vote counter, Rep. Steve Scalise, said Wednesday evening "we feel very comfortable that we have a path to passage here".

Earlier in the day, Pence told House conservatives that the administration was open to changes. Gone was the federal government's oppressive mandate requiring all Americans who do not have health coverage to pay a stiff penalty. It would cut Medicaid, repeal the law's tax increases on higher earning Americans and allow 30 percent higher premiums for consumers who let coverage lapse.

This could have been in response to a recent CBO report that came out last week, which found 52 million people would be uninsured by 2026 if the GOP bill became law.

The 2017 government sign-up numbers missed Obama's target of 13.8 million people.