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The White House and Congress seem to be on completely different pages on their healthcare revival

April 20,2017 20:10

A senior GOP aide told Business Insider that congressional leaders were not sure whether the bill, even with the adjustments, had enough support to get through the House. "The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House, and the answer isn't ...and more »


Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
House Republicans' healthcare-reform plan has been revived as Congress prepares to return from a two-week break next week. But a divide has emerged between the White House and congressional Republican leaders about its chance of passing.
The White House reportedly wants to get a revised version of the American Health Care Act through the House by April 28 to show progress on one of President Donald Trump's biggest campaign promises — repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare — by his 100th day in office.
The original bill was pulled from the House in late March before a vote.
Senior White House officials have said they believe a vote could take place next week and are aiming for Wednesday.
According to Politico's Adam Cancryn and Josh Dawsey, the White House believes it is close to having the votes needed to pass the bill through the House.
House GOP leaders aren't singing the same tune.
A senior GOP aide told Business Insider that congressional leaders were not sure whether the bill, even with the adjustments, had enough support to get through the House.
"The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House, and the answer isn't clear at this time," the aide said. "There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on."
The aide also told Business Insider that a strategy call scheduled for Saturday was a typical procedure coming back from a recess.
A proposed amendment, leaked Wednesday, is an attempt to bridge the gap between moderate House Republicans in the Tuesday Group and conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus to generate enough votes to pass the bill.
A Freedom Caucus source told Business Insider that 15 to 20 members who were against the original AHCA could back the bill if the proposed changes were added but said members were "cautious until we actually have text."
However, the changes — mainly the ability for states to get a waiver to eliminate so-called essential health benefits and the community rating — may drive away moderates in the Republican conference who believe they would hurt people with preexisting conditions.
Before the planned vote on the original bill, which was scrapped at the last minute, The New York Times estimated 33 Republicans had publicly come out against it. Republicans can afford only 22 defections in the House to pass the bill.

SEE ALSO: Here's the plan that some Republican leaders think will get their Obamacare repeal bill to pass

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