Health care bill vote rescheduled for Friday by House GOP leaders

Last Updated Mar 24, 2017 12:58 AM EDT

Last-minute meetings ahead of vote.

12:56 a.m.: The House Rules Committee will meet Friday at 7 a.m. to discuss the Republican health care bill. An amendment to the bill has been filed with the panel by House Speaker Paul Ryan. According to CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds, the four-page amendment includes:

Transferring control to states to define Essential Health Benefits, which would give states the ability starting in 2018 to determine EHBs for individuals purchasing insurance with a tax credit 

Dedicate an additional $15 billion to the Patient and State Stability Fund (PSSF) to provide resources for services included in the EHBs, including maternity, mental health, and substance abuse care  

 Delay the repeal of the Medicare Tax Increase for six years, until January 1, 2023; those resources would pay for the increased funds to the PSSF

The House Freedom Caucus met Thursday night, but didn’t announce how they would vote Friday. Rep Justin Amash (R-MI) said as he left the meeting that he thought the majority of the Freedom Caucus would oppose the bill and it will fail on Friday.

New timing for health care vote

8:50 p.m. After calling off the health care vote today, a source in House leadership now says the plan is to vote Friday, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports. Multiple members confirmed the timing, although it’s still not clear whether or not the measure has the votes to pass the House.

White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney came to the GOP conference with a message to deliver: Negotiations are over. He told them President Trump wants a vote tomorrow, and then he will move on to his other priorities. 

If Republicans fail, we are stuck with Obamacare, Mulvaney warned, and we all get blamed. 

The Congressional Budget Office also released a new score for the bill Thursday. It’s unlikely to change any minds, given that the manager’s amendment earlier this week had a minimal impact on the score. The numbers of uninsured remained unchanged (there are still expected to be 24 million more people uninsured under the AHCA, than under the ACA in 2026), but the revised measure would be a little worse for deficit reduction, cutting $151 billion, instead of the $337 billion in the original bill. The higher costs are a result of the repeal of some of the Obamacare taxes, other changes to the tax code and to Medicaid per capita allotments.

House Speaker Paul Ryan made an extremely brief statement to reporters after the conference meeting: “For seven and a half years we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law and tomorrow we’re proceeding,” he said.

He did not answer shouted questions as to whether he has the votes.

5:11 p.m.: House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the health care bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps. CBSN will cover the meeting live.

House Republican leaders were supposed to hold a vote on the health care bill tonight, but this morning, they weren’t ready yet.The Rules Committee, which determines how the measure will be debated and voted on in the House, met for 12 hours yesterday, and adjourned after midnight without agreeing on a path forward. 

The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, had his own late night meeting -- with President Trump over the bill. Many of the “no” votes that threaten to scuttle the bill come from members of the Freedom Caucus, which is made up of the most conservative members in the House. Meadows said he was “encouraged” by his meeting with the White House -- their negotiations continued today. 

The Freedom Caucus wants to lower premiums by rolling back what are known as the Obamacare “essential benefits” -- like maternity care, emergency room visits, prescription drugs. But several moderates will likely reject this approach.

Republicans can lose up to 22 members, assuming that no Democrats will support the bill. Here’s the most current count of the “no” votes, according to CBS News.  

And here’s the latest:

3:36 p.m. House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the health care bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps.

3:12 p.m. Ryan’s press conference has been postponed for a second time, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports.

1:47 p.m. The Freedom Caucus is currently meeting behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Amash said that eliminating essential health benefits isn’t enough and that adding it alone would make the measure worse, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports. 

Meadows said he wants the key provisions in the second phase of the repeal and replace strategy moved into this bill. He said that GOP leaders don’t have the votes to pass the current version. 

1:44 p.m. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, just said that there is no deal between the White House and their conservative bloc of lawmakers, CBS News’ Walt Cronkite reports. With no deal, it’s unclear how Republicans will move forward and whether the vote will still occur Thursday night.

12:45 p.m. President Obama issued a statement earlier in the day marking the 7th anniversary of Obamacare.

“Thanks to this law, more than twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance,” he said. “Thanks to this law, more than ninety percent of Americans are insured – the highest rate in our history. Thanks to this law, the days when women could be charged more than men and Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage altogether are relics of the past.”

Obama said that seniors have bigger discounts on prescription drugs and young people can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26. 

“And Americans who already had insurance received an upgrade as well – from free preventive care, like mammograms and vaccines, to improvements in the quality of care in hospitals that has averted nearly 100,000 deaths so far,” he said. 

12:43 p.m. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, held her weekly press conference and mocked the president for having the healthcare vote scheduled on the anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law. 

“Rookie’s error, Donald Trump,” she said. 

The House Republican conference was supposed to meet this morning at 9 a.m., but that meeting was postponed, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reported. House Speaker Paul Ryan was supposed to hold his weekly news conference at 11:30 a.m., but that’s now been pushed to 3:30 p.m.

The president is meeting with the House Freedom Caucus this morning, also at 11:30 a.m., on changes to the health care bill. 

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