Health Care Vote Showdown: Republicans Look to Go Big or Go Home


Another day, another chance to pass the Republican health care plan.

After a difficult Thursday for Republicans who had hoped to have passed their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the House is back at it again Friday — but this time with a directive from the White House that it’s now or never.

The House has scheduled a vote for their health plan, known as the American Health Care Act, for Friday afternoon. The postponement came after weeks of negotiations. which reached a breaking point Thursday as House leadership and the Trump administration seemed to be getting no closer to cobbling together the necessary 215 votes to pass the bill. Then President Donald Trump delivered a message to the House: If it doesn’t pass Friday, we’re moving on.

So House Republican leaders are moving forward with a vote on the American Health Care Act, regardless of whether they have the votes — a risk that could possibly deliver House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump a major defeat.

Of course, Republicans have been campaigning on repealing Obamacare since 2010, and Trump told his party members earlier in the week that reps could lose their seats if they don’t pass the GOP replacement plan.

But the hard sell wasn’t enough to convince those like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., to climb on board. Late Thursday night he announced that he would vote against it, bringing NBC News’ tally of “no” or “leaning no” votes to 32.

“I cannot support anything less than a clean repeal of Obamacare,” Biggs said.




Image: Andy Biggs

Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, presides in the Senate during budget deliberations at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix onMay 3, 2016.