House Speaker Paul Ryan was unable to get enough Republican support in the House of Representatives on Thursday to pass the American Health Care Act, a replacement healthcare plan to Obamacare, and was forced to delay the vote until Friday after holding a Thursday evening meeting with House Republicans.
Once it became clear that he didn’t have enough votes, House Speaker Ryan held a quick press conference on Thursday and said they will keep proceeding on Friday.
“For seven and a half years we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because its collapsing and failing families. Tomorrow, we’re proceeding” Speaker Ryan said.
The delay to approve the American Health Care Act was a setback for President Donald Trump and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan who has played a leading role with the new healthcare legislation.
Divisions remain among House Republicans over their policy stance to repeal and replace Obamacare which was written into law in 2010 and contains an individual mandate, requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty.
Opposition to the American Health Care Act comes from both sides of the Republican Party.
The Freedom Caucus, a conservative movement that is sympathetic to the Tea Party movement, has Chairman Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) at the helm and the group remains critical of the American Health Care Act for not going far enough to repeal and dismantle the remnants of Obamacare.
Advocacy groups led by billionaires Charles and David Koch are also opposing the American Health Care Act for many of the same fundamental reasons that the Freedom Caucus has cited.
The Koch brothers have plans to spend between 300-400 million on political campaigns during the 2018 mid-term elections.
On the other spectrum, moderate House Republicans are cautious about supporting new healthcare legislation contained in the American Health Care Act that raises premiums for the next 2 years, leaves 24 million without coverage over the next 10 years, phases out Medicaid expansion, carries an aged based tax model that taxes seniors more heavily, and makes funding cuts for Planned Parenthood.
Quinnipiac Poll Shows Most Polled Americans Oppose American Health Care Act
According to a March 23rd Quinnipiac University poll, American voters oppose the American Health Care Act by a 3-1 margin.
Americans disapprove 56- 17 percent with 26 percent undecided.
When told that federal funding for Planned Parenthood is used only for non- abortion health issues, American voters oppose cutting federal funding to Planned Parenthood 80 – 14 percent, including 60 – 32 percent among Republicans.
The poll also revealed that if their U.S. Senator or member of Congress votes to replace Obamacare with the Republican health care plan, 46 percent of voters responded they will be less likely to vote for that person, while 19 percent responded they will be more likely, and 29 percent said this vote won’t matter.
Based on the poll results, voters disapprove 61 – 29 percent of the way President Trump is handling health care with just 12 percent of voters responding that the American Health Care Act would have a positive impact on their health care, compared to 30 percent responding it will have a negative impact, and 50 percent claiming it will have no impact.
The poll showed that cutting federal funding for Medicaid also remains unpopular with a majority of voters opposing 74 – 22 percent, including 54 – 39 percent among Republicans.
Asked about repealing Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), just 20 percent want all of it repealed while 50 percent of voters said they want parts of it repealed and 27 percent said don’t repeal any parts at all.
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