The following is excerpt from Chris Deaton | May 4, 2017 | Weeklystandard.com |
House Republicans held together just enough on Thursday to pass their partial Obamacare replacement, a surgically repaired bill that a critical mass of conservatives and moderates blocked until they became more comfortable with the final product in recent days.
The narrow vote of 217-213 was hard-earned, as Vice President Mike Pence, the right-wing House Freedom Caucus and its moderate complement the Tuesday Group, a surprise rank-and-file defector and a former key committee chairman, and President Trump himself all exerted pressure on a process that had been cracking since March. But the American Health Care Act was salvaged with several major amendments, the last being a modest $8 billion allocation over five years to support patients with pre-existing conditions. Some lawmakers demanded the money because of a prior amendment that could leave such individuals facing higher premiums in certain states. Conservatives wanted that particular amendment because it fractionally undid an Obamacare regulation they said drives up costs.
Such was the line of dominoes that rapidly fell since House speaker Paul Ryan pulled the legislation on March 24. He was humbled then, but happy on Thursday.
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