House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., predicted "there will be no upsets" when lawmakers vote on the proposal next Thursday, which coincides with the seven-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act.
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The art of the dealPresident Trump met with several influential conservatives from the Republican Study Committee in the Oval Office today, committing to make several changes to the bill, including providing states with the option to block-grant Medicaid, which empowers states to spend Medicaid funds from the federal government however they want. The legislation will also be amended to include work requirements for Medicaid recipients who are able-bodied and without dependents.
Conservatives also received a commitment from the president to ensure that tax credits in the plan cannot be used to pay for abortions.
Trump told reporters that those changes had persuaded several Republicans who had been leaning against the measure to vote for it.
"These folks were noes, mostly noes yesterday, and now, every single one is a yes," Trump said. "I just want to say, 'Thank you.' We are going to have a health care plan that is second to none. It's going to be great."
Any barriers left?It is unclear whether the changes could cause some moderate Republicans to abandon support for the legislation, although McCarthy's plans to proceed to a vote next week indicate his confidence that his vote count has sufficient backing for passage.
"On balance and with the changes we agreed to in the bill's final text, I can vote for it," Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, stated. "We will continue working to advocate changes to the bill, and hope the legislation improves in the Senate."
Other conservatives from the House Freedom Caucus, like Rep. Mark Meadows, were not satisfied with the agreement, although Republicans can afford to lose 21 votes from within their conference before the bill is killed.