Despite pressure from the White House to vote on a revised healthcare bill this week, House Republican leaders have signaled they’d rather wait until they are sure the measure will succeed.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a conference call with members this weekend that legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will only reach the House floor when whips are confident that there are enough votes, Politico reported.
Though President Donald Trump wants a legislative win before reaching the 100-day mark of his presidency, GOP lawmakers aren’t anxious to repeat the experience they had when they had to pull the American Health Care Act right before it was scheduled for a vote.
The leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group worked out a deal last week that would amend the AHCA to give concessions to both groups, though it was unclear if that would be enough to get enough reluctant members on board.
While the Freedom Caucus is still waiting on the official text of the deal, member Dave Brat, R-Va., told CNN on Friday that it has a few “pretty significant amendments” that would help move the bill toward passage. But Tuesday Group member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., indicated negotiations were ongoing, adding, “I wish I knew what was in this so-called deal.”
Part of why the ACA repeal and replacement bill may not come up for a vote this week is that lawmakers have an even bigger item on their plates—passing an appropriations bill to avoid a government shutdown.
However, healthcare is also part of that effort, as the White House has told Democrats that for every dollar they put toward paying for wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration would agree to an equal amount toward funding cost-sharing reduction payments, according to Bloomberg. Insurers and other healthcare industry groups have pleaded with Congress and the Trump administration to commit to funding those subsidies, saying without more clarity they are unable to make key decisions about what plans they will offer next year and how to price them.
Trump himself sent a clear message on Sunday that he knows funding those subsidies is necessary to keep the ACA’s marketplaces afloat:
ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going - otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2017
Democrats, though, are holding firm against funding the wall, which House Minority Leader called “immoral, expensive [and] unwise” during an interview this weekend on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”