Health, Politics

Republicans Still Lacking Votes to Pass the Healthcare Bill

Republicans Still Lacking Votes to Pass the Healthcare Bill

On Tuesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives disclosed that they were very close to agreeing on an improved bill for overhauling the healthcare system in the country. However, even though the lawmakers are being pressed by President Donald Trump to do a vote on the new bill, they still lack the number of votes required to pass it. House Republicans are being pressurized by the White House to move ahead with legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act that was issued by former President Barrack Obama. The first effort to replace Obama care turned out to be a stunning failure for the Trump administration back in March.

Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said that it was finally time to conduct the healthcare vote. Yet, Republican leaders are finding it difficult to balance the concerns of the conservatives who wish to ease the burden on the economy placed by Obamacare and of the moderates who wish to protect people suffering from pre-existing medical conditions from being penalized or shut out by insurers. The staunch conservatives in the House of Freedom Caucus were the ones who had blocked the passage of the first healthcare bill drafted with Trump’s approval.

Head of these conservatives, Mark Meadows from North Carolina said that Republicans still didn’t have a handful of votes. Under the current bill, states would have the option of opting out from Obamacare provisions that force insurers to charge the same rate from healthy and sick people. This new measure has been endorsed by the Freedom Caucus and was primarily made for their benefit. However, President Trump said this week that protections would remain for those people with pre-existing conditions. A moderate Republican, Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, who was part of the effort for reviving the healthcare legislation, said that they were close to getting the necessary votes.

The healthcare restructuring was conducted by President Obama in 2010 and Republicans have opposed it a long while, stating that the law was too expensive and intrusive, despite the fact that it grants healthcare insurance to about 20 million Americans. Trump also promised to remove the legislation during his presidential campaign last year. Its repeal was actually the first important legislative item he backed, but his own party ended up torpedoing the bill. This time around, it seems that the White House has opted to take a more low-key approach to get it done.

Nonetheless, Republicans are still struggling to agree on key aspects of the new bill. Some lawmakers are worried that there will be a major increase in the number of people without insurance or premiums would increase sharply. The unified opposition of the Democrats has also added to the pressure as they believe that the 2010 healthcare bill of President Obama was one of the most notable domestic achievements of his presidency. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader said that the impact of the bill should be assessed by the US Congressional Budget before holding a vote.

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