Update: No vote today

After hours of late-night, pizza-filled negotiations, Politico reports Trump and a small, but disruptive contingent, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC), have been unable to come to an agreement on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), what House Republicans promise is the first in a three-step approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

But in today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said some members of the HFC pledged to vote for the AHCA. I’m guessing Politico’s report is based on the fact that Trump was unable to move the entire HFC block.

The last minute negotiations left some Republicans feeling they were making the same missteps as Democrats when Obamacare was slopped together in a fury of revisions over Christmas.

Even without the help of the House Freedom Caucus, almost a dozen other Republicans announced their intention to vote “no” on the AHCA.

According to Spicer, Republican hesitation stems from concerns over rising insurance costs, decreased coverage, and fewer choices. Dissenting members are not confident the AHCA as written, will adequately protect their constituents from further rate increases.

The AHCA is limited in what it can accomplish since addresses only budgetary issues. Regardless, House Republicans have been unsuccessful in whipping public support of the bill.

Despite the current GOP disagreements, the White House is confident the AHCA will pass. “It’s going to pass, so that’s it,” said Spicer.

At the time this post was published, Congress still planned to vote on the legislation Thursday. But not it’s looking more likely the vote will be postponed.

A source told CNN there will be no vote today:

But it could happen!

At this point, I’d be surprised if there was a vote on the AHCA today. But if there is, we’ll be sure to let you know.

No AHCA vote today

I will never understand why, knowing when votes are scheduled, Congress waits until the last minute to pull these things together. But it looks like they’re hoping to schedule a vote on the AHCA tomorrow. The drama could spill into next week.

Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner discusses why a legislative mishmash could have serious and unknown repercussions:

Few researchers, for instance, would have contemplated a scenario with the following combination: “essential health benefits” are repealed, insurers are allowed to charge older individuals five times as much for insurance (as opposed to three times as much), the mandate penalties are zeroed out, but many other regulations remain. That’s a unique combination of changes that would typically be debated, allowing times for experts to weigh in and give testimony.

For this reason, lawmakers being asked to vote on this bill in such a rushed manner — especially if they do so without a revised score from the Congressional Budget Office — would be largely “flying blind,” Cannon argues.

Let’s be honest here:

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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