- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Multiple sources told Business Insider that the Thursday vote on the House Republicans healthcare-reform bill would be postponed because party leaders failed to reach an agreement on the bill.
One of the sources, who spoke with multiple Hill Republicans, said the vote on the American Health Care Act – the GOP leadership’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare – would be pushed to a later date.
The impasse between Republicans came as hardline conservative members of the GOP in the House Freedom Caucus demanded more concessions on repealing parts of Obamacare, while moderate Republicans balked at those aggressive changes.
After meeting with President Trump on Thursday, House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows said that there was no deal agreed to and that the GOP did not have enough votes to pass the bill.
One of Business Insider’s sources said the breakdown was over the Freedom Caucus’ desire to repeal essential health benefits – part of Obamacare that mandated insurers cover basic health procedures such as prenatal care and preventive health services.
Reportedly, the Freedom Caucus wanted this to be repealed and pushed for a repeal of the ACA’s provisions preventing insurers from denying patients based on a preexisting condition.
At the same time, moderate Republicans were worried that the concessions went too far and a handful came out against the bill for being too severe.
House Speaker Paul Ryan had scheduled a press conference for 3:30 p.m. ET, but it has been postponed. Official word on whether or not the vote would be delayed is expected at the meeting. Soon after Ryan’s press conference was postponed, a number of outlets reported that the vote would be pushed to a later date.
Reuters reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators not to expect a vote on the bill until Monday, citing senior Senate aides.
Earlier Thursday, Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, after meeting with committee chairs and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, told reporters that the vote would not happen Thursday.
Roe told reporters that he expected the vote to be on Friday.
Ryan has consistently said that the vote would be on Thursday, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he expected the vote would continue as scheduled during his Thursday-afternoon press briefing. Business Insider asked several top House Republicans for comment, but none immediately responded.
According to The New York Times, which has been tracking public statements regarding the vote, 31 House GOP members are against the AHCA with 15 more expressing doubts about the bill.
In order for the bill to pass, a maximum of 22 Republicans can vote against it.