After Trump Ultimatum, It's Showdown Time

House to vote on AHCA Friday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2017 5:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Friday promises to be a dramatic day on Capitol Hill, with a House vote that could mark the beginning of the end for ObamaCare—or for President Trump's relationship with congressional Republicans. After a vote was called off Thursday, the president issued an ultimatum to GOP lawmakers in a closed-door meeting, telling them that if they don't pass the American Health Care Act, ObamaCare will remain and it will be their fault. A roundup of coverage:

  • It would take 22 Republican "no" votes to doom the American Health Care Act, and there are currently 34 who have publicly said they will oppose it, according to the Washington Post's list. Another 14 Republicans in the House are leaning "no," while another 18 switched from "no" to "yes" after changes to the bill were promised.

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  • Sources tell the New York Times that Trump has privately expressed regret about pushing so strongly for a health care bill he sees as a "troublesome stepchild." The insiders say Trump has told people close to him that he wishes he had focused on tax reform first.
  • The Hill reports that the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the revised bill Thursday, giving it an even lower score than the first time around. The nonpartisan office found that the revised version would reduce the deficit by more than $200 billion less than the original while doing nothing to improve coverage levels or premium increases.
  • The Washington Post looks at nine changes that have been made to the AHCA to win the support of both moderates and hard-line conservatives.
  • Politico looks at what the vote could mean for the future of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has voiced strong opposition to what it calls "ObamaCare Lite." One possibility is that the vote will cause deep rifts in the caucus.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose reputation hangs in the balance, didn't hang around to discuss the vote with the media Thursday night, the AP reports. "We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it's collapsing and it's failing families. And tomorrow we're proceeding," he said in brief remarks.
  • Financial markets are jittery ahead of the vote, analysts say. "If this thing gets materially delayed or if we get a 'no' vote, we're going to see a horrific market reaction. But if they vote in the morning and it passes, we'll have a hell of a rally," Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, tells Reuters.
  • Vox lists eight things about the AHCA that won't be known until after the House votes on it, including how much it will cost—and whether it has any hope of surviving the Senate.
(Read more American Health Care Act stories.)

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