It's make-or-break time for Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And right now it's looking more like break.
Congressional GOP leaders are scrambling to come up with a compromise between conservatives who want to scale back premium subsidies and Medicaid coverage in the already-lean American Health Care Act, and more moderate members and governors who want to see more generous benefits.
The bill is up for a House floor vote Thursday. But the Senate is unlikely to pass the bill in its current form. Republicans in both chambers are threatening to vote no if their demands aren't met, and they can afford few if any defections since no Democrats are expected to support it.
Congressional GOP leaders had hoped to pass their bill by early April, before members head back to their districts for the Easter recess. But that now looks highly unlikely. So they may face another round of tense encounters with constituents upset about the prospect of losing their ACA coverage. The wild card is President Donald Trump, who has so far sent mixed signals. Last week, he touted the bill, saying Americans should be able “to purchase . . . plans they want, not the plans forced on them by our government.”
But he also acknowledged on Fox News last week that his working-class supporters would do less well under the bill.