GOP House leaders delayed their planned vote Thursday on a long-promised bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, in a stinging setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump in their first major legislative test, the AP reports. The decision came after Trump, who ran as a master dealmaker, failed to reach agreement with a bloc of rebellious conservatives. Moderate-leaning Republican lawmakers were also bailing on the legislation, leaving it short of votes. The bill could still come to a vote in coming days, but canceling Thursday's vote was a significant defeat. It came on the seven-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act.
The Republican legislation would halt Obama's tax penalties against people who don't buy coverage and cut the federal-state Medicaid program for low earners. It would provide tax credits to help people pay medical bills, though generally skimpier than Obama's statute provides. It also would allow insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on high-income people and health industry companies. The measure would also block federal payments to Planned Parenthood. In a count by the AP, at least 30 Republicans said they opposed the bill, enough to defeat the measure. But the number was in constant flux amid the eleventh-hour lobbying. The bill would be defeated if 23 Republicans join all Democrats in voting "no." (Read more American Health Care Act stories.)