Republican Leaders Hunt For Votes For Healthcare Bill

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Short said he still thinks they could get the health-care bill passed before the GOP tax bill is introduced in the next four to six weeks.

The health bill and a pair of amendments were posted late Wednesday on a House website listing bills that may be considered by the full chamber this week, the strongest signal yet that GOP leaders believe they may have the votes to send the measure to the Senate. Brian Babin, R-Woodville, is the second Texas Republican since March to quit an arch conservative group in Congress, the Freedom Caucus. Patrick Meehan and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania; Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and John Katko of NY.

"I don't know if it's bringing anyone over", said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who said he had been lobbied by leadership but still opposed the legislation because it undoes an expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill had hoped to pass a Obamacare-repeal bill by the symbolic date of Mr. Trump's 100th day in office, which would be Saturday.

Still, leadership is setting the groundwork to move quickly if it becomes clear they can pass the bill.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated at a news conference Thursday morning that Republicans are going to have to pass a one-week extension without votes from her caucus. Over the past week or two political insiders have said it increasingly looked like there was no threat, that an agreement to fund the government would be reached, and then President Trump intervened, demanding the funding bill include his wall on the Mexico border. However, even if they do (and as Ryan himself admitted on Thursday, this isn't guaranteed to happen anytime soon), the chances that President Donald Trump will be getting an Obamacare-gutting bill on his desk are still slim as the proposals shift rightward and alienate moderate Republicans, especially in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said bargainers were "very close" to completing the $1 trillion budget package.

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A revised version of the Republican health care bill faced the same uncertain prospects on Thursday that ultimately doomed the party's previous attempt to overhaul Obamacare. When asked whether the House will vote next week on the healthcare bill, he said, "We'll see".

A further 19% think they should try again to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But the new plan isn't a completely new AHCA; it's an amendment meant to appease the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose opposition to the original plan ultimately tanked the vote. They could also be exempted from the mandate that insurers cover a list of services such as maternity care and mental health care, and from its bar against charging older customers more than triple the rates for younger ones. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who heads the House Freedom Caucus.

Republican Cong. Walter Jones of North Carolina said he still opposes the bill.

To get those waivers, states would need to have high-risk pools: government-backed insurance for the most seriously ill people and a mechanism that has often failed for lack of sufficient financing.

On Tuesday, members of the Freedom Caucus who previously didn't support the bill, including Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, and DesJarlais, said they now support the measure.

But by Thursday evening Republican leaders still had not collected enough votes from moderate Republicans whose backing was also needed for passage in the House, given united Democratic opposition.

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