Trump Fails to Secure Deal on GOP Health Care Bill
Things are looking bleak for the American Health Care Act
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2017 12:44 PM CDT
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., left, and Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, leave Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – With a House vote on the American Health Care Act just hours away on Thursday, it still didn't appear as if the Republican replacement for ObamaCare had the necessary votes, the Washington Post reports. Republicans can only afford for 22 GOP representatives to vote against the bill (it's assumed no Democrat will vote for it), but 36 are on the record as saying they'll vote against it. Another 14 GOP reps say they're leaning toward voting against it. But the vote could've still been close, as President Trump held a last-second negotiating session with the super-conservative House Freedom Caucus. At least a dozen representatives said they could switch their vote depending on the results of that negotiation.

The Freedom Caucus—having already gotten Trump to agree to removing a required minimum level of "essential" benefits from insurance plans—wanted all facets of Obama's Affordable Care Act repealed if its members were going to support the AHCA, Politico reports. That includes two popular parts of the ACA that Trump has vowed to preserve: allowing adults up to 26 years old to stay on their parents' insurance plans and prohibiting the denial of insurance due to pre-existing conditions. But following Trump's negotiation attempt, the caucus's chairman said there's "no deal," according to the AP, and Republican lawmakers emerged saying that the Thursday vote might be delayed, notes the Hill. The GOP's ObamaCare replacement isn't just unpopular with lawmakers: Vox reports a newly released poll shows only 17% of the public approves of it, while 56% disapproves.

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