Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

House Reps. Are Predicting Health Care Bill Vote Won't Happen

House Reps. Are Predicting Health Care Bill Vote Won't Happen

Donald Trump turned up the pressure Friday in a high-stakes negotiation with recalcitrant Republicans who are threatening to torpedo the party's own healthcare plan aimed at dismantling Obamacare.

The Republican bill known as the American Health Care Act would cut off funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.

The statement concludes, "Regardless of today's vote, I have instructed my staff and Legislative Counsel to draft a bill that repeals ObamaCare effective December 31, 2017".

But Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, tweeted Friday afternoon that there was a good chance the vote would be postponed again and that the House leadership appeared to the "hiding likely more NON-Freedom Caucus "No" votes than Freedom Caucus "No" votes".

It is unclear if Republicans can garner the needed support to pass the plan Friday, and Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday night he remains a "no".

The House Freedom Caucus consists of about 30 of the most conservative members, many of whom were elected in the tea party wave of 2010 that surged in opposition to Obama's Affordable Care Act. They think if the bill comes to the floor with less than the required number, the vote will collapse on them.

The bill, which was devised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ratified by former President Barack Obama, was the centerpiece of Trump's campaign promises and was backed by most House Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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 GOP disarray.

"You may be a great negotiator", she said of Trump.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, an Alabama Republican and member of the Republican Study Committee, a large group of fiscal conservatives, complained Thursday morning that the Freedom Caucus continues to throw out an expanding list of demands and suggested there was little to be done to get some in that group on board and it was time to move on.

The Freedom Caucus has pushed for repeal of EHB, but leadership has said that wouldn't be allowed under the reconciliation rules that the Senate would have to use to get a bill passed there.

The drama unfolded seven years to the day after Obama signed his landmark law, an anniversary GOP leaders meant to celebrate with a vote to undo the divisive legislation. Paul Ryan informed President Trump on Friday that the bill still would not have enough to pass. "It's going to have a very bad year", Trump said. You can not claim you want to invest in women's health and block access to Planned Parenthood and essential women's health care.

Republicans had never built a constituency for the legislation, and in the end the almost uniform opposition from hospitals, doctors, nurses, the AARP, consumer groups and others weighed heavily with many members.

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