What's happening with healthcare in the US?
Donald Trump has delivered the House of Representatives an ultimatum over healthcare, and the issue looks set to come to a head.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What has happened?
Speaker Paul Ryan has set the House a vote for Friday. This means that it’s crunch time for the issue of healthcare in America. The House of Representatives will vote definitively for or against Trump’s proposed bill dismantling Obamacare.
Why has he done this?
It looks as though Trump has decided that the time for talking is over.
“We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it’s collapsing and it’s failing families. And tomorrow we’re proceeding,” Ryan said.
Why had the vote previously broken down?
In an embarrassing setback, leaders abruptly postponed the vote on Thursday because a rebellion by conservatives and moderates looked like the measure was doomed to fail.
How have House leaders tried to garner support for the bill?
In a bid to coax support from conservatives, House leaders proposed a fresh amendment – to be voted over on Friday – repealing Obama’s requirement that insurers cover 10 specified services such as maternity and mental health care.
Conservatives have demanded the removal of those and other conditions the law imposes, arguing they drive premiums skyward. Many moderates are opposed because they say the GOP bill would leave many uninsured.
What happens if the vote doesn’t go Trump’s way?
According to Representative Chris Collins, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney told the Representatives: “If for any reason it goes down, we’re just going to move forward with additional parts of his agenda. This is our moment in time.”
So Trump is setting quite a bold ultimatum. If his bill doesn’t get passed, he will abandon his healthcare measures to focus on other areas of policy.
This leaves conservatives and many of the Freedom Caucus in a tricky situation – many want to vote against Trump’s measures because they don’t think they do enough to dismantle the previous healthcare model, but if they don’t pass it they will be stuck with Obamacare.
What happens if Trump does get his way?
Even if they prevail, Republicans face an uphill climb in the Senate, where conservatives and moderates are also threatening to sink it.
The GOP bill eliminates Obamacare’s unpopular fines on those who do not obtain coverage and the often generous subsidies for those who purchase insurance.
The bill would also end Medicaid expansion, trim future federal financing and let states impose work requirements on some of its 70 million beneficiaries.