Without the votes, Republicans delay action on ACA repeal again

Republican leaders have delayed a vote on a revised healthcare bill.

Republicans failed to bring their revised healthcare bill to the House floor this week, dashing hopes that they could vote on the measure during President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

GOP House leaders determined Thursday night they did not have enough votes to pass the amended version of the American Health Care Act, according to The Washington Post. At least 15 House Republicans had publicly come out against the bill, which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The party could only afford to lose 22 votes, as no Democrats have supported the bill.

“We’ve been making great progress, and when we have the votes we’ll vote on it,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters late Thursday, according to Bloomberg News.

GOP leaders pulled the original version of the bill in March when they did not have enough votes to ensure it would pass the House. While the recent amendment, which allowed states to opt out of certain ACA provisions, won over the conservative Freedom Caucus that refused to support the original effort, it turned off some moderates. 

The main sticking point for those moderates is the fact that the amendment would erode protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, according to a Politico report.

RELATED: Healthcare groups: Revised GOP health bill ‘even worse’

The late push to vote on the AHCA also threatened to scuttle a bipartisan deal to keep the government open for one week while lawmakers work out a longer-term spending deal, as Democrats said they would pull their support from the stopgap bill if the GOP moved forward with an ACA repeal, the Post article added. That short-term spending deal was approved by the House and Senate this morning, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, for lawmakers who want to know exactly how the rewritten bill would impact Americans, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is apparently a few weeks away from releasing an analysis, according to The Hill. The nonpartisan CBO told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office Thursday that a score of the bill would not be ready this week or next, the publication said.