“I think there’s easily 35 no votes right now”
WASHINGTON (INTELLIHUB) — House Republican’s are set to clear the way on Wednesday for a Thursday vote on the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill which has been largely criticized for keeping many of the main structures that the former President Barack Obama installed in the healthcare system.
House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed hopefulness over the bill’s passage on Tuesday, saying “I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a rendezvous with destiny we have right here.”
“This is our chance and this is our moment,” Ryan said.
The House Speaker’s hopefulness comes as reports suggest large numbers of Republicans are opposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) or at least leaning strongly against it.
The AHCA has been scrutinized from both sides of the Republican Party as moderates and conservatives are lining up against the bill. Opposition to the bill has given it the label of “Obamacare-lite”, “RyanCare” and “RINO-Care,” among other names.
Perhaps one of the AHCA’s most vocal critics, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, believes that House Speaker Ryan will be forced to pull the AHCA and start from scratch because it won’t have the support it needs to make its way through the House.
“I think there’s easily 35 no votes right now so unless something happens in the next 24 hours, I would predict they pull the bill and start over,” Paul told Breitbart News on Tuesday. “I think if conservatives stick together, they will have earned a seat at the table where real negotiation to make this bill an acceptable bill will happen.”
The Kentucky Senator says that his main goal “is not to pass something that does not fix the situation” and could end up being a disservice to both the President and the GOP if insurance premiums still head towards the sky under the Republican bill.
President Donald Trump made a trip to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning with a strong message to House Republicans, warning that if Republicans don’t pass the bill, “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018.”
According to sources who attended the closed-door meeting with between the President and lawmakers, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who’s led the conservative opposition to the Republican health care plan, was specifically called out by Trump with a few interesting words.
“Mark, I’m gonna come after you” if he keeps it up, Trump said, according to multiple sources.
Sources within the meeting and House Speaker Ryan have said that the President was “half joking” with his words to Meadows, even offering a wink and smile to lighten up the situation.
Only 21 Republicans in opposition will kill the bill and according to Senator Rand Paul, not even the recent adjustments to the AHCA are going to be enough to get the legislation through.
“If you keep all the insurance mandates, and you keep subsidizing insurance, basically it’s Obamacare Lite. So I think it’s still Obamacare Lite,” Paul told Breitbart News. “The modifications, some are going in the right direction, but they actually expanded some of the subsidies. So one of the new things about it is it’s actually $75 billion more in subsidies.”
Paul added that Ryan should have been more open and inclusive with conservatives in the process of taking on Obamacare from the beginning.
“I’m still unclear as to why they completely ignored conservatives early on in the process and then they had the audacity to look at conservatives and say ‘this is what you all campaigned on,'” Paul said. “That just, frankly, was never true.”
Senator Paul believes that if the bill fails, which seems likely, conservatives who want to stray further away from the healthcare structure built by the Obama Administration will have a better seat at the negotiation table.
“I think what it will be is the real negotiations will begin the moment his bill fails, and when his bill fails conservatives will have a seat at the table,” Paul said. “As long as conservatives stay unified and don’t start negotiating one person at a time — what’s a really bad part of negotiations is if everybody starts saying individually ‘oh if you give me this, give me this, give me this’ because then you won’t really fix the main thrust of the bill and the main outcome is that insurance premiums continue to rise and we continue to bail out insurance companies that’s not repeal of Obamacare —that’s Obamacare Lite.”
The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to set the rules for Thursday’s floor debate.