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Health Care Bill Moves To Final Vote, Big Gamble for President Trump

Republicans have pushed the GOP health care overhaul past an initial procedural hurdle in the House, which some changes.

The Latest on an effort in Congress to pass a health care bill:

11:05 a.m.
The chamber moves toward a climactic final vote that’s a big gamble for President Donald Trump and congressional leaders.
Friday’s procedural vote was 230-194.
The early vote inserted changes into the measure that leaders hoped would win over unhappy Republicans. It would improve Medicaid benefits for some older and handicapped people and abolish coverage requirements President Barack Obama’s 2010 law imposes on insurers.
It remained uncertain whether GOP leaders had enough votes to prevail on final passage.
Conservatives complain the Republican bill doesn’t do enough to erase Obama’s law. GOP moderates are unhappy that it would cause millions of voters to lose coverage and boost medical costs for others.
Democrats were solidly opposed.
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10:45 a.m.
President Donald Trump says, “we’ll see what happens,” in response to a question about what happens if the vote on the Republican-backed health care bill fails in the House.
Trump is offering his support for House Speaker Paul Ryan at a White House event announcing the presidential permit about the Keystone XL pipeline. Asked if Ryan should remain as speaker if the bill fails, Trump says, “Yes.”
The administration is trying to steer a GOP-backed health care bill through the House. The White House and Republican leaders say the vote will be tight and it’s unclear if the legislation will pass.
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8:40 a.m.
President Donald Trump is telling lawmakers who oppose abortion that a vote against the health care bill would favor Planned Parenthood.
The president tweeted Friday, “the irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!”
In a bid to coax support from conservatives, House leaders proposed a fresh amendment repealing Obama’s requirement that insurers cover 10 specified services like maternity and mental health care.
Lawmakers will vote later Friday.
Conservatives have demanded the removal of those and other conditions the law imposes on insurers, arguing they drive up premiums.
The president met with members of the Freedom Caucus Thursday in an effort to win them over. But the vote was postponed after administration officials fell short.
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8:25 a.m.
President Donald Trump is endorsing the Republican proposal on health care as “a great plan,” ahead of a make-or-break vote in the House.
The president tweeted Friday that “After seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!”
The vote had been scheduled for late Thursday but was postponed after administration officials failed to convince skeptical conservative Republicans to support the bill.
Trump claimed he was finished negotiating with GOP holdouts and determined to pursue the rest of his agenda, win or lose.
Barring any further delays, the vote is expected to take place later Friday.
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7:50 a.m.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney says he has “a lot of confidence” in President Donald Trump’s ability to salvage a congressional Republican health care plan, but warns that Trump “also wants to move on” if the deal collapses.
Mulvaney said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” of the president: “He’s a tremendous closer. I wouldn’t count him out.”
Mulvaney delivered a similar message to House Republicans Thursday night, warning that Trump would turn to other priorities such as a tax overhaul if the health plan pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan is rejected by rebels in his own party.
Mulvaney also rejected a new Congressional Budget Office analysis that warns the latest health plan version would reduce cost savings by $200 billion. “The CBO score is just wrong on that,” Mulvaney said.
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7:55 a.m.
A lack of women in a photo of negotiations over the GOP health care bill that was tweeted out by Vice President Mike Pence is drawing criticism from Democrats.
The photo shows Pence at the center of a conference table during negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus. About two dozen men can be seen in the photo and not a single woman.
Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray drew attention to the absence of women in the room by retweeting the photo and sarcastically adding, “A rare look inside the GOP’s women’s health caucus.”
A repeal of a maternity care requirement is among the concessions the Freedom Caucus is demanding in exchange for support of the bill.

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Kyra Buckley

Kyra Buckley

Energy Reporter

Kyra Buckley is an Energy Reporter with Houston Public Media. Before joining the News 88.7 team she was the Morning Edition Host and a reporter at KUNC in Northern Colorado. She started in public radio in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon where she hosted Weekend Edition and reported for KLCC....

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