ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2017

Three Conservatives Just Voted Against the Republican Health Care Bill

21 March 2017, 05:58 | Justin Tyler

Greg Nash

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Rep. Mark Meadows, who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters he had enough votes to block the bill, the American Health Care Act, in a vote in the House.

Some members already have voted the bill out of committee, and one who voted against it in committee now has changed his mind and favors it, Ryan said.

After presenting an initial timeline to advance the AHCA to a full House vote by next week, Ryan also backed off his planned schedule on Wednesday.

"I think we're going to move on, we're going to end up finding a way to get this done, and we're going to move onto something else that will be the crisis of the day", Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters.

Sanford, Brat and Palmer are members of the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers who have voiced strong concerns that the current bill does not fully repeal Obamacare.

President Donald Trump is expected to make an appearance at the House GOP conference meeting Tuesday in an attempt to sway members to vote for the legislation.

But the Idaho Republican said that now that leaders and the White House are indicating to them and others that no major changes will be added "it means the bill is going to fail".

Well there are conservatives and then there are conservatives - like the Freedom Caucus.

Rep. Leonard Lance, Republican of New Jersey, supported the bill in Energy and Commerce Committee, but said he would vote against the bill on the floor, citing a score from the Congressional Budget Office that found it could cost 14 million their insurance next year.

Three Republicans from the vocal House Freedom Caucus - Reps. A yes vote would leave them holding the bag for a health-care bill so bad not even Portman, Sen. "Maybe we'll get one along the way". Larger in number but softer in tone than their conservative counterparts, moderate Republicans are shaping up to be at least as big a hurdle to achieving the long-held goal of repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a more market-oriented series of policies.

Ultimately, however, the test for these Republicans will be how they respond if Ryan and Trump appease the conservatives.

The rest of Thursday's Budget Committee hearing after the vote consisted of short debates about motions to potentially change the bill. They know their constituents might be frustrated with Obamacare, but they tend to be more diverse and from the suburban professional ranks, unwilling to throw people off insurance with no substitute.

Many of these wavering Republicans come from states that adopted the expanded Medicaid rolls the ACA allowed, a provision that would be phased out under the current Ryan proposal.

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash said he's prepared to stand by his position on the legislation if changes aren't made, even if he faces huge pressure from the president.

The late backroom changes and deal sweeteners undermine Speaker Paul Ryan's promise of an open legislative process, but even with the slapdash lawmaking, leaders continue to project confidence with regard to the bill.

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