Republicans face test on eve of Obamacare replacement vote

Mar 25, 2017, 00:59

Members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus oppose it because they say it doesn't go far enough to undo Obamacare. Hudson suggested this could help win over other conservative opponents. Republicans said the votes would occur Thursday, even as leaders planned near-continuous meetings with dissident and wavering lawmakers.

As Trump left the meeting, he predicted, "We're going to have a real victor".

But he has been putting the full power of the White House behind the effort to sell the health bill.

The political priorities of Trump and establishment Republicans such as Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could not be more different.

So far, President Trump has been unable to lock down the votes needed to pass the bill.

"There's not enough votes to pass it tomorrow".

But the hard-right members of the House Freedom Caucus went out as opposed to the bill as they were going in.

The Republican plan is still evolving, and many GOP lawmakers have said they want to see changes that reduce the impact on older consumers before they can support it.

Some also met with Pence, including top House GOP vote counter Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. While the outcome is still up in the air, the "party of no" is trying mightily to prove that it can get things done, with leaders urging members to back the bill, even if they don't get everything they want. "If it's not about taxing and spending, the Republicans have zero power to pass it" without Democratic support, she said.

Last month, four Republican senators with states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare - including Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - signed a letter saying they couldn't support the House GOP bill because it won't protect people enrolled in the health care entitlement.

Our reporting finds that Republicans have a slender path to secure the 216 votes needed pass the healthcare bill in the House (five seats are now vacant, lowering the number the GOP needs for a majority from 218).

Backed by pro-business elements of his party, Trump has increasingly argued that the repeal and replacement of former President Barack Obama's health care law is a necessary step along the road to other parts of his first-year agenda. He also pointed to voters who remain dubious.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said Trump told Republicans he would campaign for them if they backed the bill.

The biggest problem the Republicans face is that it has undeniably shifted the paradigm on the delivery of healthcare in the US.

"We have the best opportunity in seven years to repeal this sinking ship of Obamacare", said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

One of the most cynical GOP assumptions is that if such a person drops coverage, they have chosen to voluntarily give up health insurance.

He brushed off a new analysis, released on Tuesday by the liberal-leaning Urban Institute, that projects Missouri would lose up to $3 billion over 10 years in federal Medicaid funding under the GOP bill.

And the reason I feel very good where we are, we all, all of us, all Republicans in the House, Senate, and the president, made a promise to the American people that we would repeal and replace this faulty collapsing law, and we're going to make good on that promise.

Medicaid is a federal-state program that covers more than 70 million low-income people, about 1 in 5 Americans. It would provide tax credits for medical bills, though generally skimpier than the aid Obama's statute provides. It also would allow insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on high-income people and health industry companies. One measure of their desperation was a cynical last-minute provision that would shift Medicaid costs from New York's rural and suburban counties to the state government, pleasing upstate Republicans who represent those counties but reducing coverage provided by the state.

He did not change many minds. Older adults who need Medicaid to get assistance with daily activities would see that assistance shrink, as states cut eligibility, services, and programs.

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