House will vote on Obamacare repeal Thursday as Trump pledges '100%' support

Andrew Cummings
March 20, 2017

President Trump and House Republicans triumphantly announced changes to their Obamacare replacement plan Friday, saying they will pave the way for passing the bill that has earned criticism from many conservative members, as well as Democrats.

"These folks were noes - mostly noes yesterday, and now, every single one is yes", he boasted.

The estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation are being closely watched because they could greatly affect the support for enacting the plan, key components of which were passed by House committees last week. Senate Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare have signaled opposition to the bill's changes to the program, while conservative members have also objected to several provisions.

GOP Rep Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who chairs the conservative Freedom Caucus that is demanding changes to the bill, said that contrary to claims by GOP leaders that Trump helped craft their bill and fully supports it, the president is open to alterations.

But pressuring the White House on the opposite side were moderate Republican governors and senators, who said Trump needed to allow for continuing Medicaid coverage for the poor. Second, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price would take administrative action to deregulate the Obamacare marketplace. In actuality, tax credits in Republican legislation being debated in the House may not be as generous to older people as what is in the current law.

Even as Price spoke to reporters before a morning meeting with House Republicans, it remained unclear if or when top Republicans could resolve the party's internal wrangling over the high-profile measure.

"We made certain changes but frankly very little", he said.

And he said that "fantastic" GOP plan pending in the House of Representatives will lead to "bidding by insurance companies like you've never seen before", and new designs for health plans that "nobody's even thought take care of people". But interestingly, the Coverage Caucus isn't just moderate Republicans in swing states or districts who are anxious about losing their seats to Democrats (though many of them are represented).

"We're going to come up with something". Republicans can only lose three votes and still expect the bill to get out of committee. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was present at the meeting with Trump, said Friday's breakthroughs "definitely strengthen our number", but wouldn't say if he has a majority. However, it also says 24 million people would lose health coverage in that same period.

Tucker says GOP supporters of the bill should heed to what their constituents want.

But Trump appeared delighted that they were now in support of the bill. "It's fake news", he said. One would let states require childless, able-bodied adults who receive Medicaid benefits to find work.

Other reports by iNewsToday