UPDATE: The President and Speaker Paul Ryan have pulled the American Health Care Act bill from the House after confirming they didn't have enough Republican votes for it to pass. This is a huge setback for the Trump administration and the GOP, who ran heavily on a promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Instead, Obama's Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. I'll have more on this soon, but as for the reasons this happened, my article from earlier today still holds, so dive in...
Trump’s American Health Care Act is set for a House vote today, after a late night amendment to please the conservative Republican faction known as the Freedom Caucus. These arch-conservatives succeeded in removing the bill's federal mandate for "essential benefits" like maternity leave, mental health care, substance addiction treatment, and emergency services. Under the revised bill, those benefits would have to offered on a state level, a la carte style. (The Freedom Caucus says this will reduce costs and preserve states’ freedom from federal powers; opponents say this guts the essence of health care itself.)
A White House spokesman said Trump was done negotiating and prepared to "move on" and leave Obamacare in place if today's vote doesn't pan out for him.
If the AHCA were to become law as-is, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates 24MM people will be without coverage within the decade, due to the bill's lack of mandatory participation coupled with the likely increase in premiums over the next few years.
Republicans are understandably torn up about what to do, with a vengeful President joking about retribution against those who don't comply, and a platform in which the GOP promised voters to repeal-and-replace Obama’s landmark legislation. But as the CBO's estimates suggest, the present bill isn't cutting it, and many lower-income Republican voters may be better served with the current version of Obamacare. (Make no mistake, Obama's health care act has plenty of problems its own -- but it also has resulted in millions getting health care and prescription-pill addiction services for the first time in their lives).
Meanwhile, Trump’s put his reputation as a dealmaker on the line, and taking an L here won’t help when it comes time to push through his more "exciting" initiatives like that new tax plan — especially since he's counting on the money "saved" from the AHCA to fund his tax cuts. (He's also working a sizable credibility deficit due to oh you know FBI investigation and a press secretary whose policy statements seem impromptu often enough to merit frequent SNL satirization.)
It’s a fine mess! I'll continue breaking down the consequences on REVOLT TV. May Hippocrates help us all.