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GOP Rebels Threaten to Sink House Vote on PPACA Repeal
As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the GOP’s long-awaited plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), there are enough Republicans in opposition to kill the bill, according to an article in the Washington Post.
Assuming that no Democrats support the measure, Republicans can lose 21 votes in the House and still pass the bill. The problem is, 24 Republicans have said they outright oppose the plan, and 25 others have expressed serious concerns about it, according to the Post.
Moreover, if the legislation passes the House, GOP lawmakers can lose no more than two votes in the Senate if the bill is to succeed there. Again, the Post reports that six Republican Senators are against the bill and that 16 more have serious concerns.
However, in recent days 11 Republican members of the House have indicated that they will change their vote from “lean no” to “yes” if they gain affirmation that President Trump and House GOP leaders are willing to make some big changes. That means that the House vote, scheduled for March 23, may be closer than the Post article suggests.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the Post that the GOP’s replacement plan would amount to “subsidies for unaffordable health care, subsidies for unaffordable premiums––not just policies that Republicans had opposed, but policies voters would reject.”
Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) called the bill a “stinking pile of garbage” written by “the insurance lobby.”
Representative John Katko (R-New York) remarked: “I’ve said I’ll never vote for a repeal until a replacement is ready to go. It’s clear to me that it’s not ready to go.”
Meanwhile, President Trump paid a visit to the House to coax reluctant Republicans into supporting the bill, warning that they would face “political problems” if they didn’t. Later, he hosted approximately a dozen GOP lawmakers in the Oval Office to listen to their concerns.
Repealing and replacing the PPACA was one of Trump’s main campaign promises.
Sources: Washington Post; March 21, 2017; and Reuters; March 22, 2017.