Is Obamacare repeal-and-replace back on? Vote could come as early as next week
04/20/2017 / By JD Heyes / Comments
Is Obamacare repeal-and-replace back on? Vote could come as early as next week

While Left-wing critics of the Trump White House and the GOP-controlled Congress celebrated their failure to repeal and replace the imploding Affordable Care Act last month, the effort did not die with that defeat, as #NeverTrump supporters had hoped.

In fact, as reported by Politico, a renewed push to repeal Obamacare to coincide with President Donald J. Trump’s 100th day in office may be in the works. (RELATED: As Trump Approaches His 100th Day, Here Are The Promises He’s Kept And Is Likely To Keep)

The site noted that the administration wants another vote and soon – as in next week – as the legislative text of a potential deal over what the new repeal bill will look like is expected to make the rounds on Capitol Hill by Friday “or the weekend,” two senior White House officials said.

The plan is to get a new bill to the House floor by next Wednesday or Thursday, the sources noted.

But GOP congressional leaders, who were widely blamed for the first Obamacare repeal-and-replace failure, are not so sure a vote can happen that quickly. “The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House and the answer isn’t clear at this time,” a senior Republican aide told Politico. “There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on.”

Politico reported further:

Administration officials are feeling inordinate pressure to pass the legislation because of Trump’s impatience and fears that his failure to repeal the health care law will dominate coverage of the administration’s first 100 days, which end next week, officials say.


As to Trump’s “impatience,” the president himself told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo last week that he was continuing to negotiate a repeal-and-replace measure, and that negotiations had been ongoing since the failure of the first bill, which was pulled before it was even introduced after Republican leaders realized they did not have the votes to pass it.

The new bill is “close” to getting the necessary 216 votes, a senior official told the website, but it’s unclear if that number can be reached since many lawmakers “don’t want to commit without seeing the text” of the legislation.

Some Republicans never lost faith the party and the president would eventually pass something. One of them is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“We had a great day with the president. Played some golf, and we talked and we talked about a little bit of health care,” Paul told reporters after the game April 2. “I continue to be very optimistic that we are getting closer and closer to an agreement on repealing Obamacare.”

Still, repeal is definitely on Trump’s mind, as he’s said. In his interview with Bartiromo, he said he ‘needed’ to do Obamacare repeal first before he did tax reform (and, specifically, tax cuts for corporations and individuals) because he wants to use the savings from the Obamacare reform to fund tax cuts. Not every analyst agreed that one must be done before the other, but that’s what Trump has said he wants.

Along those lines, Politico reported that Trump has requested daily – and sometimes more often – briefings on the progress of the repeal legislation, which again makes perfect sense given the emphasis he put on repeal during his campaign:

The president believes that it will be difficult to gain momentum on other issues without “getting something done on health care,” according to one person who spoke with him.

The plan is to revive substantial portions of the failed Ryan bill, but with major compromises and additions hammered out between Tom MacArthur, head of the moderate Tuesday Group, and conservative Freedom Caucus head Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. They include allowing states to have additional flexibility to opt-out of major provisions in Obamacare while still maintaining popular provisions like its prohibition against insurance companies singling out those with preexisting conditions.

In London on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the GOP was putting the “finishing touches” on a new proposal.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.


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