CHICAGO (CBS) — After President Donald Trump demanded a make-or-break vote on the Republican health care plan, lawmakers were expected to bring the legislation to the House floor Friday after a long night of closed-door meetings.
However, with several Republicans still expected to vote no, the GOP health care bill could be rejected.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) scheduled Friday’s votes after a meeting at the White House where the president said negotiations with Republican holdouts were over, and he would leave Obamacare in place and pursue the rest of his agenda if the health care plan fails. The president’s ultimatum came after the House postponed a planned vote on the measure Thursday afternoon.
“I think it was a helpful message,” U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said. “The president’s done everything he can to put us in a position to win.”
[graphiq id=”3WqulYusGvX” title=”Republican Lawmakers Expressing Concern With the AHCA” width=”600″ height=”638″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/3WqulYusGvX” link=”https://www.graphiq.com/vlp/3WqulYusGvX” link_text=”InsideGov | Graphiq” ]
Ryan emerged from closed-door meetings late Thursday night sounding confident about the vote to repeal and replace former President Donald Trump’s signature health care plan, the Affordable Care Act.
“For 7 ½ years, we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law, because it’s collapsing and it’s failing families, and tomorrow we’re proceeding,” he said.
However, with U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) announcing he plans to vote no, CBS News reports at least 35 House Republicans oppose the plan. With Democrats unanimously opposed to the GOP plan, only 22 Republican no votes are needed to reject it.
Asked Friday morning what he would do if the Republican health care plan fails, Trump said “we’ll have to see.”
The president also wasn’t offering any predictions on Friday’s vote.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said.
Many GOP lawmakers have been reluctant to support Ryan’s proposed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office has said would leave 14 million fewer people without health insurance in 2018, and 24 million fewer without insurance over the next decade.
“We have to get it right, not get it done fast,” U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.) said. “I thought the bill misses the mark and that’s why I’ve taken the position I’ve taken.”
Democrats also have ripped the AHCA as a $600 billion giveaway to the super-wealthy, referring to the tax cuts included in the plan.
“Let’s pull off the charade here, and expose what’s really going on. This is just another Republican tax cut for the rich,” U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has said the Republican health care plan would cause hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents to lose health care coverage next year alone.