After days of frantic back room deal-making on the part of the White House and allies of House Speaker Paul Ryan, news outlets are reporting that the GOP will delay today’s planned vote on its Obamacare replacement, the Affordable Health Care Act. A deal offered to the right wing of the party by the White House last night, which would have eliminated the ACA’s 10 essential health benefits, was apparently not enough to win the 216 votes required for passage in the House of Representatives.
The bill has been plagued by opposition from both far-right, Tea Party conservatives, who think it doesn’t go far enough in reversing the ACA, and moderates, who worry that it will kick too many Americans off health insurance. Likewise, efforts to reach a compromise were hampered by a deep schism between conservative and moderate Republicans about what the ACA replacement should look like — provisions designed to entice conservative politicians turned off moderates, and vice versa.
Today’s failure is a blow to both the Trump administration and Paul Ryan’s legislative agenda. The bill, as it stands, is unpopular with liberals, moderate and conservative Republicans, liberal and conservative think tanks, groups that advocate for senior citizens, and medical providers. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted it will result in 24 million fewer people having insurance by 2026.
The White House is optimistic the House will vote on the bill tomorrow morning, CNN reports.