Obamacare Repeal Bill Takes Another Step Forward, Passage Still In Doubt

After mere minutes of debate, the House Budget Committee narrowly approved the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 17 to 19. Three hardline conservative Republicans on the committee—Reps. David Brat (R-VA), David Gary Palmer (R-AL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC)—joined every single Democrat member in opposing the bill, but were unable to muster the numbers to stop its passage.

The bill had been expected to squeak through the Budget Committee, though the exact number of Republican defections was up in the air. The bill next goes to the House Rules Committee, where it could see significant revisions.

The successful vote to advance the bill comes amid a wave of criticisms of the legislation from the left, right, and center, and admissions from House leadership that it cannot pass in its current form.

Conservatives lawmakers in the House are trying to pull the bill farther to the right, fighting to impose work requirements for people on Medicaid and speed up the freeze of the Medicaid expansion. But moderates in the House and Senate—especially those from states who opted to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of people—tell TPM these changes could drive away their votes.

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