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Uncertainty Looms as Vote on GOP Healthcare Bill Delayed

by Countable | 3.20.17

House Republicans have delayed a vote on their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that had originally been slated for Thursday evening — the seventh anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law.

GOP leaders are scrambling to find the votes they need to ensure its passage and have been negotiating with the House Freedom Caucus, whose 20+ conservative holdouts could be the key to reaching the magic number, over the last two days. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delayed his regularly scheduled Thursday press conference by four hours, then postponed it indefinitely to continue talks with wavering Republicans. While Trump administration officials have also joined negotiations to help get the AHCA over the finish line members of the Freedom Caucus have said a deal hasn’t yet been reached.

Given that support for the bill is in flux, House leadership is taking steps to give the chamber more flexibility in the timing of a vote in case they aren’t able to corral enough support today. That poses some procedural problems — the Rules Committee met yesterday intending to pass a rule that structures the length of the debate and what amendments can be considered on the floor, but the uncertainty surrounding the bill precluded a vote by the committee.

Before the AHCA can advance to the floor, the Rules Committee will have to meet and pass a rule, so the House is considering invoking "martial law" which would allow the House as a whole to consider a rule on the same day that the committee passes it rather than waiting a day. It was last used in September 2015 when Congress needed to fast-track a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. The House has begun debate on the martial law rule, but has delayed a vote on it until a time to be determined.

Republicans are now planning to hold a closed-doors meeting tonight in order to find a way forward. Leadership is hoping to now hold a vote Friday, but as the events of the last few days proved, rounding up sufficient support can take time.

This is a developing story and we'll have more information for you regarding the House's plans for the AHCA as it becomes available.

Tell your reps whether you think the AHCA should be brought up for a vote, modified, or scrapped altogether using the "Take Action" button.


Have questions about politics? Let us know! Send us an email and you could see your answer in a future post.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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  • David
    03/23/2017
    ···

    I continue to be amazed at how politicians get elected to do something that the voters don't really want. The majority of American voters, 56%, disapprove of the Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. Represent the people please - not your personal political self-interest.

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  • Bernice
    03/24/2017
    ···

    Make ACA better and a single payer.

    Like (38)
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  • Danette
    03/23/2017
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    Scrap the replacement bill. The winners are not the American middle and lower class. Try again.

    Like (35)
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  • Martha
    03/23/2017
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    No on AHCA. Improve ACA.

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  • Rob
    03/23/2017
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    This bill needs to be scrapped. It was not written for the people but for the money the GOP received to repeal and replace the ACA. We all need and deserve good medical insurance for EVERY AMERICAN. I think the senate and house politicians should have to be covered by the medical care system they are trying to force on the American people. You are throwing all of us under the bus.

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  • Wilfred
    03/23/2017
    ···

    From the tone of your Town Meeting in Richardson it should be obvious that your constituency is opposed to the replacement Healthcare plan currently proposed by the GOP. Why not take time and work out a proposal that actually delivers on all the promises Trump made to the American people during his candidacy. The general public isn't stupid and, contrary to what you believe, they do listen to what is happening.

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  • Deborah
    03/23/2017
    ···

    Please do not vote for this monstrosity. What do you hope to really accomplish...other than capitulating to the coercion from this dangerous and inept president?

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  • Lisa
    03/23/2017
    ···

    Repealing the ACA is a waste of time and resources. My understanding that more people are now insured, there is less reliance on emergency rooms for care, and the medical community is paying more attention to quality of care rather than quantity. All good outcomes in my opinion. If adjustments to it are needed, make them. Replacements with tax credits and flexible spending accounts are not equivalent to the current program. Americans living on the margins don't have money to save and won't benefit from tax credits. Please do not jeopardize citizens' health and safety over partisan politics. Please do not waste administrative costs of instituting a whole new system. Thank you for serving in congress.

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  • Jamie
    03/23/2017
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    Please don't replace the ACA with this bill. It will hurt a lot of Americans

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  • Elaine
    03/24/2017
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    Please vote no on this and if Trump is serious and he won't fight if the vote is no, Dems and Reps need to work together and fix what's wrong with Obama Care. Trying to replace Obama Care with an inadequate replacement is a serious and dangerous disservice to the American people.

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  • Joan
    03/23/2017
    ···

    Just fix Obamacare. No on HCA. It 's another benefit for the wealthy. Definitely no on deregulating more insurance companies

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  • Lyn
    03/23/2017
    ···

    Please work TOGETHER across party lines to MODIFY AND FIX THE AHCA before trying to force a vote to pass it when even healthcare providers are saying it's not ready! We cannot continue to repeal things simply because they were voted in during the Obama administration! We MUST take our time to come up with a healthcare plan that does not hurt more than it helps. You want to repeal the ACA? Fine. But don't replace it with half-assed crap. Thanks.

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  • Susan
    03/23/2017
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    How do other countries do it? Let's look at some other models.

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  • Ophelia
    03/24/2017
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    John Faso, I watched you tonight on The Rachel Maddow Show and I would like to remind you that if you vote to approve Trumpcare, then you will be breaking the promise you made to your constituents. I am on Medicaid, if the ACA is replaced with Trumpcare, then I will likely lose my health insurance, which will quickly lead to my death. I am 35 years old and am a constituent of your district. Do o deserve to die before the age of 40 so that billionaires can receive tax breaks? Please Mr. Faso, we need you to stand up for what's right. You have an opportunity to stand on the right side of history, please don't let it pass you by.

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  • Darlene
    03/24/2017
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    This bill does nothing for the American people. It's a complete gaslighting tactic to take away health care. It's also a childish revenge against Obama just like most of that crazy nut bars plans. Say no and stand up for the people!

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  • Laura
    03/23/2017
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    Scrape AHCA

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  • Emily
    03/23/2017
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    Health care is not a luxury. It is not something that some people deserve and others do not. And it is unconscionable that the GOP thinks that plan is what the American people want. It is even more unconscionable that the GOP thinks this plan is fair and merciful. Congressman Bill Huizinga, you have the *privilege* of representing me, my family, my neighbors, and my community in West Michigan. Some of us didn't vote for you, but it is your duty to represent ALL OF US- not your party and not lobbyists. You will never have to worry about being able to pay hospital bills because you are entitled to benefits that we, your constituents, are not entitled to. People you are beholden to will suffer if this legislation passes. PLEASE keep us in mind when you cast your vote. We will be watching you.

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  • Randy
    03/24/2017
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    If you have any humanity in your body, please vote against the AHCA... Please...

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  • Gigi
    03/23/2017
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    I know you support the ACHA, but it's a bad bill, one that will hurt a lot of people, especially older people. If you just want to stick it in Obama's eye, though, I guess it's just the thing.

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  • Michelle
    03/23/2017
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    Without the assistance that I receive through the ACA, I will die. The proposed AHCA will not cover me nor will I be able to afford insurance or any of the life-saving assistance I require. This bill is my death warrant; do not sign.

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