9 things to know about the AHCA House vote

The American Health Care Act is expected to undergo a crucial test in the near future as the entire House votes on the measure.

Here are nine things to know about the vote.

1. It remains to be seen whether the bill will garner enough Republican "yes" votes to pass. Moderate members of the party have expressed concerns about the AHCA's potential effect on older and low-income Americans, while more conservative members of the party have lobbied for further dismantling of the ACA, reports USA Today.

2. Conservative House members specifically take issue with the ACA's essential health benefits rules, which they want repealed, reports NPR. These benefits cover prescription drugs and prenatal care, along with eight other health services, the report states. Under the ACA, insurers must cover these services.

Opponents of repealing the benefits claim repealing the essential benefits would cause consumers to have to pay more for their healthcare, while conservatives claim a repeal of the benefits would cause more customized and less expensive coverage, according to NPR.

3. A February leaked "discussion draft" for the AHCA would have eliminated the essential health benefits rules, but a repeal of the requirement was not part of the final bill unveiled in March, reports Business Insider.

4. President Donald Trump has pushed House Republicans to pass the bill. Earlier this week, the president issued a warning to lawmakers to favor the measure or potentially lose their political jobs, The New York Times reports.

5. The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has about 36 members, decided it won't take an official position on the AHCA vote. This means they can vote the way they want to, rather than as a bloc. However, the group has claimed they have enough "no" votes within its membership to prevent the AHCA from passing, according to NPR. Republicans can only lose 22 votes in the House for it to pass that chamber, according to The Washington Post.

6. There are a number of House Republicans still on the fence. USA Today recommends watching the votes of the following representatives:

  • Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.
  • Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.
  • Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.
  • Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
  • Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.
  • Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.
  • Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
  • Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas

7. Meanwhile, conservative political action groups Americans For Prosperity and Freedom Partners are doing their part to prevent the AHCA from passing in its current form, reports NPR. The two groups plan to create a seven-figure fund "to stand by principled lawmakers who keep their promise of fully repealing Obamacare by opposing the AHCA unless there are significant changes," according to the report.

8. Commenting on the House vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said: "This is our chance and this is our moment. It's a big moment. And I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a 'rendezvous with destiny' we have right here," reports NPR.

9. Even if the AHCA passes in the House, it would still have to go through the Senate. The AHCA could only stand to lose three opposing Republican votes in that chamber, reports The Washington Post. Some senators have expressed concerns about potential coverage loss under the AHCA, while others desire further dismantling of the ACA, the report states.

 

 

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