Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?

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Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks in support of the Republican health care bill during a TV interview in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The Republican bill that is set to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for a vote Thursday, as President Donald Trump and leaders in the House scramble to secure enough support for the measure to pass.

The American Health Care Act could be dead on arrival at the House, however, as a number of Republican lawmakers are saying they intend to vote “no” on the bill.

The bill would repeal and replace some of the Affordable Care Act, shifting the way millions of Americans fund their health care needs. It would also mean that millions would be left without the health care they gained under the ACA, or Obamacare.

Here’s a look at the AHCA and what is scheduled to happen today.

What does the bill do?

According to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), the AHCA will retain some of the features of the ACA – insurers would still be required to cover customers with pre-existing conditions, for instance – but would take a sharp turn on others.

The bill would eliminate the requirement that a person have health insurance. It would also give larger companies a break by saying they are no longer required to provide coverage for employees. It will allow insurers to charge older Americans higher health care premiums.

The bill keeps the ACA provision that allows children to stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26, but it cuts the amount of tax credits that are in place for those buying insurance, and reduces Medicaid spending in the states. In addition, it provides fewer funds for subsidies.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the new bill would reduce the deficit by $337 billion during the next 10 years, but cost 24 million Americans their coverage over the next decade.

Will it pass?

That’s to be seen. Early on Thursday, it was not looking like Republicans had enough votes among their membership for the bill to pass. Republicans need 216 votes to move the bill to the Senate. That means they can lose no more than 21 of their current 237 votes. If they lose 22 votes the result would be a 215 to 215 tie. If the vote is a tie, the bill fails.

Who is on the fence?

That count has varied over the past two days, but as of 7 a.m. on Thursday, here’s a list compiled from several sources of legislators who say they are leaning toward voting “no” on the bill.

  1. Justin Amash, R-Mich. 
  2. Dave Brat, R-Va.
  3. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. 
  4. Rod Blum, R-Iowa
  5. Ted Budd, R-N.C. 
  6. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.
  7. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio
  8. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.
  9. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
  10. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y.
  11. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. 
  12. Tom Garrett, R-Va. 
  13. Louie Gohmert, R-Tx. 
  14. Paul Gosar, R-Az. 
  15. Andy Harris, R-Md. 
  16. Walter Jones, R-N.C. 
  17. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
  18. John Katko, R-N.J. 
  19. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho 
  20. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. 
  21. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.
  22. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
  23. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.
  24. Scott Perry, R-Pa. 
  25. Bill Posey, R-Fl.
  26. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fl. 
  27. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
  28. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. 
  29. Robert Wittman, R-Va. 
  30. Ted Yoho, R-Fl. 
  31. David Young, R-Iowa

(Sources: CBS News; Huffington Post; Twitter; The Associated Press)

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, many of whom identify with the Tea Party, will meet with the president at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Some votes could change after that meeting. 

(Update: The Associated Press reports at 1:30 p.m. ET that the “House Freedom Caucus chairman says "no deal"was  reached on health bill after meeting with Trump, putting vote in doubt.”)

If it does pass, what then?

If the bill passes the House, it moves to the Senate where Senators will have a chance to add to, or subtract from the bill. If the bill gets to a vote on the floor of the Senate, Republicans will face a similar close margin when it comes to passage. Republicans have a 52-48 advantage in the Senate, so they could lose only two GOP votes and still pass the bill.

Like the NFL, nothing ends in a tie in the Senate. If the vote happened to be 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.

If it doesn’t pass, what then?

Another bill could be introduced to either fully repeal the ACA, or to offer something like the bill that is up for a vote Thursday, but with some modifications.

When is the vote? 

There is no set time for the vote yet. Meetings will be happening throughout the day prior to a call for the vote. The vote could also be delayed for another time, but Ryan has said that wouldn’t happen. (Update: The vote has been moved to Friday, or possibly beyond. This post will be updated when the time for the vote gets near. Check back here during the day Friday).

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