“Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.”


House leaders postpone vote on their health-care plan

House leaders postponed a vote Thursday on their plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system, as they struggled to meet demands of conservative lawmakers who said they could not support the bill.

Earlier Thursday, conservative House Republicans had rebuffed an offer by President Trump on Thursday to strip a key set of mandates from the nation’s current health-care law, raising doubts about whether House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) had the votes.

Trump met at the White House with the most conservative House Republicans, hoping to close a deal that would help ensure passage of the party’s health-care plan by shifting it even further to the right. But the session ended with no clear resolution, and some lawmakers said they needed more concessions before they would back the bill.

"Kick MORE people off their healthcare coverage! Hurt MORE poor people! Hurt MORE children! MORE! MORE! MORE!!"

...Talks continued, however, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he still anticipated a vote on the measure by day’s end. Asked whether there was an alternative plan to the current bill, Spicer replied: “No. it’s going to pass. So that’s it.”

Apparently he was actually referring to a kidney stone.

...As of mid-afternoon Thursday, 37 House Republicans — mainly Freedom Caucus members — had announced their opposition to the bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

...But with failure not a viable option, Ryan and Trump have been working furiously to win over the large voting bloc of conservatives who control the House bill’s fate. Conservative lawmakers have asked to eliminate much of the measure’s Title I, which not only mandates which benefits participating insurers must cover — such as mental health treatment, wellness visits, and maternity and newborn care — but also bars companies from setting insurance rates based on a person’s sex, medical condition, genetic condition or other factors.

...The only existing mandates conservatives are open to preserving are ones that bar insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.

Yes, that's right.

As I've been predicting, the "young adults staying on their parents' plan" provision appears to be safe on a permanent basis no matter what happens...which is why I don't include them in my "Clean Repeal" coverage loss estimates. Even if the GOP were to completely repeal every other part of the ACA, I'm certain that they'd keep this one.

As for the pre-existing condition coverage provision:

No EHBs + keeping guaranteed issue would doubly push carriers to skimpy coverage. If they can't reject the sick, they won't cover sickness.

— Jay Hancock (@jayhancock1) March 23, 2017

It's important to remember that the vote has merely been delayed. The vote could still happen tomorrow. Or Monday. Or later.