Just when it seemed over, the Republican overhaul of healthcare made something of a comeback Tuesday morning.
Republicans emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting Tuesday saying they have not abandoned their desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, even after their bill was yanked from the House floor on Friday.
“On Friday, the votes weren’t there yet. That doesn’t mean we are not going to get there,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a press conference.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise added that Democratic celebrations about the failure of the Republican bill were “premature.”
On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republican donors that he was going to continue to work on healthcare even after the GOP could not come together on the American Health Care Act, the House GOP leaderships plan for healthcare that was introduced in early March.
“I will explain how it all still works, and how we’re still moving forward on healthcare with other ideas and plans,” Ryan told donors, according to the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, reports indicated that a meeting of the Republican House conference discussed the possibility of pushing forward on healthcare.
Associated Press congressional correspondent Erica Werner reported that House Republicans leaving the meeting said they were not done with healthcare, and Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia told Werner that it was only “halftime.”
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that Rep. Mo Brooks, a member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus and opponent of the AHCA, said that he believes Ryan’s healthcare plan is “fairly immediate.”
The biggest sticking point for the AHCA was the failure to convince members of the hardline conservative Freedom Caucus to agree to the bill. The group demanded more extreme repeal measures of Obamacare and had enough votes to block the bill’s passage in the House.
CNN senior congressional producer Deirdre Walsh reported that after the Republican conference meeting, House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows said he still wants to get healthcare reform done and did not think that Republicans should leave for the April recess until it has passed.
It is unclear how House Republicans can agree on a bill given the fact that any concessions to the Freedom Caucus would likely result in the loss of more moderate members of the party. (There were nearly an equal number of moderates against the bill, based on media whip counts.)
Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis reported that a number of Senate Republicans are open to working with Democrats to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul and make changes to Obamacare, though that effort appears to be separate from the current House moves.
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