- Win McNamee/Getty Images
The American Health Care Act, the House GOP bill to overhaul the US healthcare system, passed the House Budget Committee on Thursday, but Republicans may have gotten a preview of the worries to come.
The bill, the American Health Care Act, was moved on to the House Rules Committee by a vote of 19 to 17. The Democrats on the committee were joined by three Republicans in voting against moving the AHCA ahead.
GOP Reps. Mark Sanford, Dave Brat, and Gary Palmer all voted against the bill, putting it one vote away from being tied up in the Budget Committee.
All three representatives are members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group that has come out against the AHCA.
The Freedom Caucus has taken issue with the AHCA’s tax credits and what it considers a failure to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare, as the GOP has promised. Mark Meadows, the head of the Freedom Caucus, said Wednesday night that he had enough votes to block the AHCA from moving past the House.
The “no” vote by the three Freedom Caucus members indicates that the conservative group is getting serious about blocking the bill. No Republicans voted against the bill when it was considered by two previous committees.
Meadows also said he would roll out a package of amendments to the bill to make it more palatable to conservatives and moderates alike.
Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump insisted in interviews on Wednesday that the negotiation process for the AHCA was ongoing and that changes to the bill could be made.
In terms of the AHCA’s next steps, the Budget Committee can now consider resolutions that will be advanced to the Rules Committee and full House floor for consideration as amendments.
Ryan’s original plan for the AHCA was to bring it for a full House vote next week, a promise he backed away from at a press conference on Wednesday.