Two days ago, President Donald Trump tweeted: "new healthcare plan is on its way," but the White House simply does not have the votes necessary to pass the legislation to repeal Obamacare. The House needs 216 Republican votes to move the bill forward, since all Democrats are expected to vote against it. But according to CNN, 21 House Republicans have also promised to vote against the bill and it would take just two more "no" votes to stop the bill from passing. Currently, 17 Republicans are undecided.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence continue to meet with Republican leaders this week, in hopes to rally support and obtain a much-needed win for Trump. But at this time, there is no vote scheduled, and Ryan has made it clear that he will not bring the bill to the floor until he is sure he has the votes. This lobbying around the American Health Care Act is round two after an embarrassing moment for Ryan and Trump in late March, when the healthcare bill was first proposed and then pulled last minute from the floor, when again, the votes were not secured.
Despite the efforts to pass the healthcare legislation this week, Trump said in an interview Monday with Bloomberg News, that the bill "was not in its final form right now." Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., emphasized this process as a way to persuade Republicans who were unsure about the bill's content. "You remind them there is a United States Senate, and it will change things. What we send over there isn't going over there on stone tablets," he told CNN.
But Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., doesn't see this as a selling point: "Seriously, you want me to go back and tell the people in my fourth of Nevada 'the Senate will make it better?'" Amodei told CNN. "What the hell?"
Part of the contention between conservative and moderate Republicans is over pre-existing conditions, which Trump has used as a talking point in recent interviews. "Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, 'Has to be,'" Trump said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday. After host John Dickerson pressed Trump for confirmation that pre-existing conditions would be guaranteed and not left up to individual states to determine, Trump said, "we actually have a clause that guarantees."
But in the bill's current form, "insurers could charge people with pre-existing conditions like cancer and diabetes higher rates than other healthier patients if they allow their continuous coverage to lapse," CNN reported. This back and forth has raised larger questions of whether Trump even knows what's inside his health care bill.