The House won't vote on Republican legislation scuttling much of ObamaCare until at least next week, a GOP leader said Thursday. The decision deals a setback to the White House, which has pressured congressional Republicans to pass the bill by Saturday—President Trump's 100th day in office. "As soon as we have the votes, we'll vote on it," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after leaving a meeting of the House GOP leadership that lasted nearly two hours. Centrist Republicans were the primary target of the latest lobbying by White House and Republican leaders, a day after the conservative House Freedom Caucus announced its support for a revised version of the legislation, reports the AP. At least 21 Republicans have said they're opposed, and the GOP can withstand only 22 defections, per the Hill. Scores of lawmakers remain undecided.
The recast bill would let states escape a requirement under former President Obama's law that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. They could also be exempted from Obama's mandate that insurers cover a list of services like maternity care, and from its bar against charging older customers more than triple their rates for younger ones. Overall, the legislation would cut the Medicaid program for the poor, eliminate Obama's fines for people who don't buy insurance, and provide generally skimpier subsidies. Democrats remained solidly against the legislation, which they said would make health care coverage less available and costlier. In at least one instance, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke to one recalcitrant conservative who is now a yes vote. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)