Health

Massie Shifts From "No" To "Hell No" On Health Care

| by Jordan Smith

The outcome of the House's March 23 vote on the healthcare reform bill proposed by the administration of President Donald Trump remains uncertain.

One GOP member, however, has made up his mind, saying he has changed his vote from "no" to "hell no," according to The Hill.

This was the message from Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who added in a tweet, "Sorry if I let you down."

Massie had already made clear his opposition to the American Health Care Act, which aims to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare."

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In an interview with the Washington Examiner earlier this month, he labeled the legislation a "stinking pile of garbage."

"I think the [AHCA] was written by the same people that wrote Obamacare," he told the Examiner.

"That's why it looks so similar. It was the insurance lobby," he added.

Republicans will lose the vote if 22 GOP members vote against the bill, together with every Democrat.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Trump himself have been lobbying lawmakers to back the bill. The president was asked if he would try again with healthcare reform if the bill was turned down and he answered, "We'll see what happens."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared more confident of the outcome.

"There is no plan B," Spicer said, according to CNN. "There's plan A and plan A. We're going to get this done."

CNN reported that some moderate Republicans had indicated their opposition to the bill. According to the network's whip count, 23 Republicans have said they will oppose the bill and an additional four are likely to do so.

Opposition has also been expressed by the conservative Freedom Caucus. Members of the caucus were invited by Trump to the White House in small groups in a last-minute bid to persuade them to switch sides.

A Freedom Caucus source stated that the group is made up of enough lawmakers to ensure the bill will be voted down.

But Ryan is not giving up hope.

"We're not losing votes; we're adding votes, and we feel like we're getting really, really close," Ryan said, according to he Hill.

Republican Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina, a backer of the reform, noted that Trump had made a concession to Republican Rep. Steve King of Louisiana at a meeting. The president agreed to push in the Senate for the change of "essential health benefits" in insurance. Hudson suggested this could help win over other conservative opponents.

"They shook hands," Hudson added, confirming King had dropped his opposition to the legislation. "We are voting tomorrow, no matter what, but I feel like we'll have the votes."

Sources: The Hill, Washington Examiner, CNN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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