Without a public final text or a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, the House of Representatives will vote on the latest iteration of the American Health Care Act tomorrow, Republicans announced.
The Associated Press reports that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy predicts that the party will have enough votes to pass the measure this time. Voting to send the bill to the Senate would be a win in the party’s seven-year effort to dismantle former President Obama’s signature healthcare act.
In the House GOP’s 2011 “Pledge to America,” the party wrote:
“We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on.”
Some House Republicans were concerned that the bill did not go far enough to cover those with preexisting conditions, but last-minute negotiations yielded the Upton Amendment, which adds $8 billion over five years to fund high-risk pools and offer state-level subsidies to people with preexisting conditions.
Some Republicans and Democrats say that’s not enough.
But the Upton Amendment did add two needed reps to the “Yes” column, Rep. Fred Upton and Rep. Billy Long.
With the goal of bringing costs down, insurers may not be required to offer essential health benefits (doctors visits, ambulatory services, and other services as defined under the Affordable Care Act) and are allowed to charge higher rates to people with greater healthcare needs. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies were not permitted to use a person’s health history in setting their insurance rates.
This is a developing story. The Congressional Budget Office is scrambling to analyze the bill before tomorrow’s vote.