The new healthcare bill has dominated media headlines since it was released just a few weeks ago. Even before then repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act always remained a headliner. But with a vote today or tomorrow on the new replacement bill it is more controversial than ever. Even now, more so, because a plethora of Republicans are threatening to sink the bill their own party came up with. Politico has reported that twenty-five members of the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives might not vote for the new bill.
This would mean the bill still is a few votes short of the two hundred and sixteen it would need to pass. Many conservative Republicans are opposed to the new bill calling it a remake of the Affordable Care Act. It has colloquially been named, “Obamacare-lite.” While Democrats have denounced it for rolling back Medicaid expansion and Medicare.
Twenty-two is the number of votes needed to kill the bill. These conservative caucus members might just destroy the bill before it even starts. A Freedom Caucus spokesman told CNBC that planning and research needs to start over saying,
“If the vote were today, the bill would fail.”
Some caucus members have introduced separate bills of their own such as Senator Rand Paul and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jordan’s bill is more conservative and focuses more on repealing the Affordable Care Act and having a two year grace period for those using the Affordable Care Act.
Despite Republican comments that it won’t leave the House floor or pass through the Senate, the White House and Speaker Paul Ryan have all shown airy confidence insisting it will pass through a vote. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said,
“The count keeps getting stronger for us. There is no plan B. There’s plan A and plan A. We’re going to get this done. … This is it. If you want to see Obamacare repealed and replaced, this is it. This is the vote.”
Whomever is right or wrong we will all find out on Thursday, Friday or when it comes to a vote. How ironic that the Democrats and Republicans both hate the new healthcare bill, but for wildly different reasons. One would think that because they have so much in common with their dislike of the bill, it would force them to work together, but that is not likely to happen. If Republicans fail to pass a repeal and replace bill for the Affordable Care Act their seats will be threatened when they come up for reelection next year.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!