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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the upcoming health care vote in the House (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

House Republican leaders have postponed a vote on their health care bill in a setback for President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan.

Prospects for the Republicans’ showcase health care bill had looked grimmer by the minute Thursday despite Trump’s personal lobbying of conservatives. That still left the legislation short of the votes needed for passage.

A senior Republican official said the vote would be delayed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal discussions.

House Republicans plan to meet behind closed doors Thursday night to consider their next steps.

Republicans were intent on voting to dismantle Obamacare on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of former President Barack Obama signing the bill into law.

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3:10 p.m.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is apologizing for his comment about the possibility the GOP health care bill would ease federal requirements on coverage of basic services like mammograms.

In an interview with a reporter for Talking Points Memo on Thursday, Roberts was asked about potential changes in the health care bill. He said: “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.”

He later tweeted an apology: “I deeply regret my comments on a very important topic. Mammograms are essential to women’s health & I never intended to indicate otherwise.”

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2:06 p.m.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump’s meeting with the House Freedom Caucus was a “positive step” toward achieving the GOP’s goal of driving down costs and increasing access to health care.

Freedom caucus members told reporters on Capitol Hill that there was “no deal” following the meeting.

Spicer says the president will meet later Thursday with members of the Tuesday Group, a group of moderate Republican House members. He says the White House still expects the bill to be voted on later Thursday.

Spicer says Trump was on the phone last night well into the 11 o’clock hour with members of Congress.

He says the president “is looking forward to seeing Republicans fulfill the pledge” they made to repeal the Obamacare law.

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1:35 p.m.

The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus says there’s “no deal” on the GOP health care legislation after a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump.

The assertion from Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina throws plans for a vote on the bill later Thursday into doubt.

Two dozen or so Freedom Caucus members have opposed the legislation pushed by GOP leaders, saying it doesn’t go far enough to repeal “Obamacare.”

But the group had been negotiating directly with the White House in hopes of reaching agreement to eliminate additional requirements on insurers.

Without a deal with the Freedom Caucus, and with moderate-leaning members defecting, it seems unlikely GOP leaders will have the votes they need to go forward with a vote later Thursday as they had planned.

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10:06 a.m.

Former President Barack Obama is celebrating the seventh anniversary of his landmark health care law, saying in a statement on Thursday that “America is stronger because of the Affordable Care Act.”

Obama does not directly address GOP efforts to repeal his law, which are coming to a head Thursday as House leaders push toward a vote on their repeal legislation. Republicans remain short of votes.

The former president does say that if Republicans are serious about lowering costs and expanding coverage, and are prepared to work with Democrats, “That’s something we all should welcome.”

But, Obama says, “we should start from the baseline that any changes will make our health care system better, not worse for hardworking Americans.”

He notes 20 million Americans gained coverage under his law.

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9:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is urging people to call their lawmakers to express support for the Republican legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”

Trump posted a video on Twitter Thursday asking people to get behind the plan. He says that people were “given many lies” about the Affordable Care Act.

Trump added that the legislation was “terrific” and “you’re going to be very, very happy.”

The GOP legislation was on the brink hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Trump was spending the final hours trying to close the deal with conservatives who have opposed the plan.

___

9:00 a.m.

The GOP’s long-promised legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare” stands on the brink, just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote.

The stakes are high, and Republicans are staring at the possibility of a failure that would throw prospects for their other legislative goals into uncertainty. Speaking to members of the conservative Freedom Caucus mid-day Thursday, Trump is pitching concessions to representatives who want to limit the requirement for health plans to include benefits including substance abuse and maternity care. But those changes appear to be scaring off at least some moderate Republicans.

In a count by The Associated Press, at least 26 Republicans say they opposed the bill, enough to narrowly defeat the measure.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • guest45

    there are only 3 groups of people that are happy with OBAMACARE

    1- the one’s getting it free or heavily subsidized
    2- government workers recieving health insurance

    3- the INSURANCE companies

    the rest of us are suffering thru out of control rising premiums and deductibles are substandard coverage!

    • Vog46

      You forgot the 40 MILLION that now have healthcare Guest
      But that doesn’t matter to you does it.
      The ACA had been worked on for years and included doctors groups, hospital groups, and insurance groups. that is why ALL of them are supporting it.
      Out of control costs? What about all those years of out of control HC costs prior to ACA? Market base health care has FAILED us.
      Our HC is too expensive as a market based system.
      Too many people couldn’t afford the market based system

      the GOP, and especially tRump failed to see the enormity of the problem. tRump LIED to us that he HAD a better solution – the his insurance plan would be better and cover more folks. In fact he had NO PLAN – never did. The GOP was the same they had NO PLAN. This renders the GOP outlook on repeal and replace a big fat LIE.
      And the sad part is the GOP has wanted a national health care plan since Nixon who supported it back in the 60s and 70s.

      It also failed because people actually LIKED the plan.
      tRump the negotiator? FAILED
      tRump having a bigger and better plan? A LIE
      The GOP promising to repeal ACA? A FAILURE

      Recognize this. the largest voting block in this country are senior citizens covered by Medicare. They know that program has its limitations but they have the peace of mind that they are covered. The second largest group? Veterans – yes the VA has its problems and it needs fixing but they have the peace of mind of knowing they have it. Neither group was affected by ACA but they have government health care.

      Free market medical care is too expensive, but those 40 MILLION that signed up for ACA and those MILLIONS that already have government healthcare show you your’re wrong about people NOT wanting it.

      Vog
      Unaffiliated and darned proud of it
      .

  • VoiceOfReason

    For years, Republicans have said that Obamacare was flawed. For years, Republicans have begged for the opportunity to fix/replace Obamacare. For years, Republicans have said that they had a plan.

    Obamacare is flawed. Republicans now have the opportunity to fix it. The plan? Eh, not so much.

    The plan was dead not when the NON-partisan CBO released its analysis. It was dead when 20, 55, and 50 got the details.
    * 20? 20 Million votes of the insured who were now at risk of losing that literal lifeline.
    * 55? 55 year olds in 2020 who’s tax credit will only cover 25% of their premiums.
    * 50? 50 governors who will see their state budgets explode when Medicare is moved to block grants and caps.

    Health care is complex and no one knows all the answers (I certainly don’t). I sometimes wonder if a better deal wouldn’t be an income tax (like FICA) to offset health care costs for a single payer system. You could draw a lot of votes if you cap prescription prices, cap liability costs (to lower malpractice insurance), more grants for medical school tuition (lower student loan paybacks).

    I don’t like the idea of the Federal government having a program this large. But having a market based only system or a Federal/market system hasn’t worked either. In the meantime, costs continue to rise (higher than the overall rate of inflation and much higher than the rise of income) and people are – will continue – to get sick. Some of those will be so ill that they will bankrupt their families.

    That’s not right. We need our politicians to put aside the ideology and pragmatically come up with a real solution.

    • Heimie Schmelter

      Obamacare was DESIGNED to fail! That was done so that it would migrate to the “single payer system” which is wanted so badly by the democrats, especially Pelosi! There is NO good in that at all!
      The problem with malpractice restriction is;there are so many wrong things that happen in hospitals these days, stupid mistakes, stupid people, bad doctors. If you have a loved one in the hospital undergoing major surgery, you ad better be on the ball 24/7! If not, that loved one has a very good chance of not coming home! It beats all I’ve ever seen and none of them want to take responsibility as it is!

      • Jack

        Do not be scared of the single payer. It’s the right way to go. The CIA fact book has the percentage of GNP spent on healthcare in the US and countries that have universal care. Country after country they spend 2/3rd what we do(With healthier more productive people who live longer better lives)

    • Vog46

      “It was dead when 20, 55, and 50 got the details.”
      Add to that it was dead when VETs got screwed too.
      We are the ONLY industrialized nation in the world that does not offer single payer.
      Its One of the reasons why we lag behind other nations in infant mortality rates and longevity.
      I like the Japanese system. Children are covered 100% from birth until working ages free. Then workers pay a sliding fee per month based upon wages earned. Then upon retirement you’re covered again with no premiums.
      I would also add this caveat as well. If government is paying doctors and I would assume at a much lower wage, then perhaps Medical school should be free to allow those people wanting to be doctors to not have enormous amounts of student debt to pay off.
      Its a wide ranging subject for sure and no good answers.
      But you are correct, our market based system has failed us on many levels

      Vog

    • Bryan Leonard

      A market based system has not been tried so therefore lack of competition has contributed to costs rising. If you want car insurance or house insurance, you can get a policy from any provider in any state that is affordable, but not when it comes to health insurance. Health insurance companies are only allowed to sell within that particular state, therefore limiting competition and consumer choices. Allowing interstate purchases would help reduce costs as companies compete against each other. It works in other industries, but yet we won’t even do it for health insurance.

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