Republican Trainwreck: Millions at Risk as Trump Demands Healthcare Vote

In their frenzied effort to strong-arm support for the flailing American Health Care Act (AHCA) before a vote on Friday, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have officially made the Republican plan even worse.

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Trump issued a stark ultimatum to wavering House Republicans late Thursday, dispatching budget director Mick Mulvaney to tell lawmakers that if they don’t get behind the AHCA, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, will remain the “law of the land.”

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The Hill reported:

But with only 17 percent public support and a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis (pdf) finding that recently unveiled cuts would be even worse economically while still threatening coverage for 24 million people by 2026, Republicans across the political spectrum are threatening to jump ship.

Watch the House vote and debate below:

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According to the CBO, the legislation would now reduce the deficit by $150 billion over 10 years, significantly less than $337 billion reduction than the previous draft. At the same time, premiums would still rise initially by 15 to 20 percent above those under Obamacare before eventually falling 10 percent by 2026.

In a last-minute gift to the ultraconservative House Freedom caucus, Ryan and Trump stripped (pdf) the AHCA of the “essential health benefits” central to Obamacare, which mandates that insurance plans include coverage for basic care, such as maternity and wellness visits.

That change, not included in the latest CBO analysis, could cause the individual insurance market to “collapse” in 2018 according to ACA expert Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, who described the amendment as “irresponsible, ambiguous, and destructive.”

Ignoring recent polling that found that the majority of Americans support women’s reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood, Trump on Friday attempted to woo the most conservative factions, tweeting:

Meanwhile, grassroots opponents of the bill continue to swarm moderate Republicans with office visits, phone calls, and protests demanding they vote against the AHCA.

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