House Speaker Paul Ryan announced this weekend that Republican leaders were making adjustments to the American Health Care Act in an attempt to shore up the necessary votes, but members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are telling reporters that the changes will not be enough to bring them on board.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Freedom Caucus spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said the bill could be destined for failure.
“The amendments offered by Republican leadership do little to address the serious concerns of House conservatives,” said Farah. “At this time, the bill does not have the votes to pass. The Freedom Caucus will continue to work with House colleagues, the Senate, and the White House to find a path forward that works for the American people.”
Rep. Jim Jordan of the Freedom Caucus has also told the press that he cannot vote for the bill in its current form.
Conservatives in Congress are unhappy with Ryan’s AHCA, insisting that it does not go nearly far enough in repealing the Obamacare structure. Instead, they say, it’s basically Obamacare-Lite – a new form of government-sponsored healthcare that, while it may be an improvement, is still a major expansion of the welfare state. Many are demanding a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act instead, a strategy opposed by Ryan and President Trump.
This week, Ryan tried to appease his conservative bloc by including an amendment in the bill that would allow states to impose a work requirement on Medicaid enrollment. It does not seem to have done the trick, and the move is even opposed by some conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation.
Meanwhile, moderate Republicans in the House are not happy about provisions to defund Planned Parenthood or the plan to roll back Obama’s Medicaid expansion.
The political fallout that will follow this bill’s failure in the House will be enormous. No Republican will be spared, but Ryan and Trump have the most to fear.
We can’t even begin to imagine how the GOP bungled this so badly. Perhaps they didn’t. Perhaps this bill will pass the House, pass the Senate, be signed into law, and everything will turn out great.
But damn, it’s not looking good.