House to vote on health care bill Thursday

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The House will vote Thursday on GOP legislation to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, as Republicans finally aim to deliver on seven years of campaign promises that helped them gain control of Congress and the White House.

But the move announced late Wednesday by GOP leaders also carries extreme political risk, as House Republicans prepare to endorse a bill that boots millions off the insurance rolls and may not even survive the Senate.

“We will pass this bill,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., confidently predicted after a day of wrangling votes and personal arm-twisting by President Donald Trump.

Pressed by reporters as he exited a meeting in Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, McCarthy protested: “We’re gonna pass it! We’re gonna pass it! Let’s be optimistic about life!”

After an earlier defeat when Republican leaders were forced to pull the bill for lack of votes, the decision to move forward indicated confidence on the part of GOP leaders. Failure would be catastrophic. But a successful outcome would make good on the GOP’s No. 1 goal of undoing Obama’s signature legislative achievement, and provide a long-sought win for Trump, who has been in office more than 100 days without a significant congressional victory save Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court justice.

The White House had aggressively pushed House leaders to act, and Trump got heavily involved in recent days, working the phones and personally agreeing to changes earlier Wednesday that brought two pivotal Republicans back on board. Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri emerged from a White House meeting with Trump saying they could now support the bill, thanks to the addition of $8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions.

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House to vote on health care bill Thursday

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