In a last-ditch effort to get the Republican health bill passed, House Speaker Paul Ryan submitted two amendment packages to the Rules Committee Monday night, in an attempt to meet the demands of his more conservative caucus members.
Submitted three days before the bill is scheduled for a vote on the House floor, the two packages — one that amends technical details (like typos in subheads) and the other that makes substantive changes to the bill — show a clear rightward shift in the Obamacare replacement plan, including harsher cuts to Medicaid.
The goal is to attract enough conservative lawmakers to pass the bill on the House floor. Per Ryan’s announcement over the weekend, the amendments also would create a new reserve fund that could be used to supplement older Americans’ tax credits, but leaves the details up to the Senate.
Ryan’s team says the amendments put them a lot closer to the 216 votes the House needs to pass the bill on to the Senate, but some of the bill’s biggest conservative critics from the House Freedom Caucus are saying House leadership has miscalculated and the bill still doesn’t have the votes.
- The amendment might make some swings at pulling in conservatives to pass the bill through the House, but as Vox’s Ezra Klein writes, it still doesn’t fix the bill’s fundamental problems.
- Among the changes in the manager’s amendments are much harsher cuts to Medicaid, which Vox’s Dylan Matthew argues will be even crueler to lower-income families.
- House leader Paul Ryan has taken a top-down approach to legislating this health care bill. This might be strategic, but it also means that if this bill fails Thursday, it’s Ryan’s name that takes the fall.