Vote on New Health Care Legislation Scheduled For Thursday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Vote on New Health Care Legislation Scheduled For Thursday

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.
    
Trump made a final pitch to the public Thursday. In a video posted on his official presidential Twitter account, he asked people to call their lawmakers in support of the legislation.
    
"Americans were told Obamacare would bring down prices and increase options. You were told that you could keep your plan and keep your doctor," Trump said. "You were given many, many false stories, the fact is you were given many lies. Go with our plan, it's going to be terrific."
    
The stakes could hardly be higher for a party that gained monopoly control of Washington largely on promises to get rid of former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement and replace it with something better. Now Republicans are staring at the possibility of failure at the very moment of truth, an outcome that would be a crushing political defeat for Trump and Hill GOP leaders and would throw prospects for other legislative achievements into extreme uncertainty.
    
Frenzied last-minute wheeling and dealing was under way on Capitol Hill and the White House, where Trump summoned the balky conservative Freedom Caucus to meet with him mid-day Thursday, ahead of the planned vote. But concessions being offered to the conservatives, who sought to limit requirements for health plans to offer certain benefits including substance abuse and maternity care, appeared to be scaring off moderate Republicans.
    
The Republican legislation would halt Obama's tax penalties against people who don't buy coverage and cut the federal-state Medicaid program for low earners, which the Obama statute had expanded. It would provide tax credits to help people pay medical bills, though generally skimpier than the aid Obama's statute provides. It also would allow insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on high-income people and health industry companies.
    
Tension has been building in advance of the critical vote, and a late-night meeting of moderate-leaning members in Speaker Paul Ryan's office Wednesday broke up without resolution or a deal as most lawmakers and Ryan himself left out of side exits and avoided talking to reporters.
    
One lawmaker present, GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, said members had been asked to weigh in on the changes being offered to the Freedom Caucus. He demurred on how the concessions might impact his vote, but said, "The Freedom Caucus has presented what it will take for them to make some 'yeses' and I think there are a lot of members who will now have to evaluate things a little bit further."
    
Shortly thereafter a key moderate who had been in the meeting, Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, issued a statement saying he would be voting "no" on the health bill. "I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans," said Dent, a leader of the Tuesday Group of moderate-leaning Republicans.
    
Yet Freedom Caucus members, even after winning the prospect of eliminating the so-called "essential health benefits," were not quite ready to guarantee their support.
    
"Tonight is an encouraging night," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leader of the Freedom Caucus, said after a late round of negotiating Wednesday. But after boasting for days he has the votes to kill the health bill, Meadows added that "I don't want to be so optimistic as to say the deal is done."
    
Thursday's White House meeting between Trump and Freedom Caucus members looked to be pivotal as to whether the vote could go forward as planned. Trump has played an increasingly central role, repeatedly summoning different groups of lawmakers to the White House, traveling to the Capitol himself, and calling others on the phone to press for "yes" votes.
    
And congressional leaders have increasingly put the onus on the president to close the deal, seemingly seeking to ensure that he takes ownership of the legislation - and with it, ownership of defeat if that is the outcome.
    
In a count by The Associated Press, at least 26 Republicans said they opposed the bill, enough to narrowly defeat the measure. The number was in constant flux amid the eleventh-hour lobbying.
    
Including vacancies and expected absentees, the bill would be defeated if 23 Republicans join all Democrats in voting "no."
    
In a show of support for the opponents, the conservative Koch network promised Wednesday night to spend millions of dollars to help House members who vote against the health care bill.
    
Moderates were daunted by projections of 24 million Americans losing coverage in a decade and higher out-of-pocket costs for many low-income and older people, as predicted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
    
Yet some Republicans were showing irritation at their party's holdouts.
    
"At some point we have to cowboy up and prove we can govern," said Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. "Otherwise we're just going to be the 'no' party and some people are OK with that, it appears."

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Maryland Removes Dred Scott Ruling Author's Statue

    Maryland Removes Dred Scott Ruling Author's Statue

    08/18/2017 07:43:00 -04:002017-08-18 11:43:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 9:49 AM EDT2017-08-18 13:49:39 GMT
    Workers use a crane to lift the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was was removed from outside Maryland State House, in Annapolis, Md., early Friday, Aug. 18, 2017.  (Photo: AP)Workers use a crane to lift the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was was removed from outside Maryland State House, in Annapolis, Md., early Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. (Photo: AP)
    A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to African Americans was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House early Friday morning.More
    A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to African Americans was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House early Friday.More
  • Eastbound Salisbury Bypass Reopens After Emergency Repair

    Eastbound Salisbury Bypass Reopens After Emergency Repair

    Friday, August 18 2017 8:09 AM EDT2017-08-18 12:09:31 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 8:09 AM EDT2017-08-18 12:09:31 GMT
    Crews working on the eastbound Salisbury Bypass. (Photo: WBOC)Crews working on the eastbound Salisbury Bypass. (Photo: WBOC)
    The eastbound US 50 Salisbury Bypass reopened Friday morning following emergency repairs. MDOT said the closure was necessary to ensure public safety when heavy rains last weekend accelerated erosion around a drain pipe.More
    The eastbound lanes of the US 50 Salisbury Bypass reopened Friday morning following emergency repairs.More
  • Updated: NAACP Branch Seeks Removal of Del. Confederate Monument, Lawmakers React

    NAACP Branch Seeks Removal of Delaware Confederate Monument

    08/17/2017 09:41:00 -04:002017-08-17 13:41:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 8:04 AM EDT2017-08-18 12:04:33 GMT
    The Confederate monument on the grounds of the Georgetown Historical Society. (Photo: WBOC)The Confederate monument on the grounds of the Georgetown Historical Society. (Photo: WBOC)
    A lower Delaware NAACP branch wants officials to cut off state funding for the Georgetown Historical Society to force the removal of a Confederate monument on its grounds.More
    A lower Delaware NAACP branch wants officials to cut off state funding for the Georgetown Historical Society to force the removal of a Confederate monument on its grounds.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Wanted for Burglary, Theft in Delaware

    Two Wanted for Burglary, Theft in Delaware

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:42 PM EDT2017-08-18 02:42:38 GMT
    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:42 PM EDT2017-08-18 02:42:38 GMT
    Delaware State Police are asking for assistance in locating two people wanted for multiple counts of burglary and theft.More
    Delaware State Police are asking for assistance in locating two people wanted for multiple counts of burglary and theft.More
  • Dumser's Dairyland Boardwalk Location Faces Demolition

    Dumser's Dairyland Faces Demolition

    08/18/2017 07:28:00 -04:002017-08-18 11:28:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 7:28 AM EDT2017-08-18 11:28:53 GMT
    Legal battles are causing a major shakeup on Ocean City's boardwalk. The landlord of the building which leases to Dumser's, had an agreement with the town of Ocean City to occupy the space. Now, Ocean City wants that property back.More
    Dumser's Dairyland is a popular ice-cream parlor with seven locations in Ocean City. However, the land of which its boardwalk location sits on is owned by the state of Maryland.More
  • DoC: Reinstated Security Practices Turn Up Contraband

    DoC: Reinstated Security Practices Turn Up Contraband

    Friday, August 18 2017 7:36 AM EDT2017-08-18 11:36:53 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 7:36 AM EDT2017-08-18 11:36:53 GMT
    DOVER, Del. -- Correctional officials say officers at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna confiscated contraband this week, though state officials and union leaders say a sophisticated shank was among the items collected and believe it demonstrateMore
    Correctional officials say officers at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna confiscated contraband this week.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices