The American Health Care Act (AHCA) dubbed Ryancare, Trumpcare, GOPcare, and even RINOcare (take your pick), is the first step of three in repealing and replacing Obamacare, so we’re told.

This first bit of legislation can only address tenets of Obamcare that pertain to the budget (see also: reconciliation). Congressional Republicans have promised more substantive regulatory changes and reforms in bills to follow.

The House is slated to vote on the AHCA Thursday, but do Republicans have the votes?

As of Wednesday night, there were enough holdouts on the Republican side of the fence (thanks mainly to the House Freedom Caucus), to sink the bill:

A group of House Freedom Caucus members huddled with Vice President Mike Pence in a small room near the House chamber on Wednesday afternoon, while on the House floor, the GOP whip team worked the room. Later, Trump himself called Meadows.

“We had a great conversation with the vice president,” Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told the Washington Examiner after the meeting. “Certainly if anybody can get this to a yes it’s probably the president first and the vice president second.”

Earlier in the day, the Freedom Caucus announced that it had 25 members committed to voting “no” on the bill in its current form – which would be enough to sink the legislation.

Later in the day after more discussions with the White House, Meadows said that we are “not there yet but we are really optimistic.”

A White House official said, “We are open to changes to the bill that make it better and help grow support for it but no specific changes to discuss at this time.

Where do Republicans go and what do they do if the AHCA flops?

Seems simple enough.

Last month, President Trump said repealing and replacing Obamacare could take as long as a year, which seems highly optimistic in Beltway Time.

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