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A major House committee chair dealt the Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act another blow as he announced Friday he would not be voting in favor of the plan as it is now written.
Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee – which is tasked with appropriating discretionary federal funds – wrote on Facebook that he could not vote for the present iteration of the American Health Care Act.
“Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue healthcare in America,” Frelinghuysen wrote. “Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.
“In addition to the loss of Medicaid coverage for so many people in my Medicaid-dependent state, the denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues,” Frelinghuysen went on. “I remain hopeful that the American Health Care Act will be further modified. We need to get this right for all Americans.”
After it became clear that the bill was in serious danger of not being passed through the House on Thursday, House Republicans pushed the vote back. It is now expected to take place Friday, with GOP leadership aides saying the vote would take place between 3:45 and 4:45 p.m. ET. A Republican source told Business Insider on Friday that the vote would take place after markets close at 4 p.m.
President Trump is trying to turn up the heat on undecided conservative and moderate Republicans. Through Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the president delivered an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday evening: Vote for the AHCA or Obamacare stays in place.
On Friday, Trump targeted the House Freedom Caucus – which consists of some of the most conservative representatives – on Twitter.
“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” he said.