Republican Health Care Bill Teeters Near Death As House Appropriations Chair Will Vote No

The most powerful Republican committee chairman in the House, Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) has announced that he will vote no on the Republican health care bill, as Trump’s first piece of major legislation takes another step towards defeat.

Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) said in a statement, “Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue healthcare in America. Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey. In addition to the loss of Medicaid coverage for so many people in my Medicaid-dependent state, the denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues. I remain hopeful that the American Health Care Act will be further modified. We need to get this right for all Americans.”

Hours before the vote, Republicans are not coming out to support the bill. If one wants to read the tea leaves of political momentum, it looks like this legislation has no momentum. If there does exist a wave of House Republicans who will carry this bill over the finish line, they are keeping their heads down and their mouths shut.

With the approval rating on this legislation at 17%, any Republican who votes for the American Health Care Act is casting a vote that will be used against them next year. It is nearly impossible to see how this legislation passes today with the Appropriations Committee chairman opposed to it.

Frelinghuysen’s statement perfectly sums up why Trumpcare might be doomed. For every concession made to pick up support from far-right conservatives, Paul Ryan loses the vote of a moderate.

Trump is demonstrating that he has no sway over congressional Republicans, while Ryan looks like a failed Speaker.

Even if this bill survives the House, it is still a defeat as the Republican Party has completely failed their first test of governing.

Jason Easley
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