Marking the first major split in the Republican party under the Trump Administration, it appears that some Republican lawmakers are ready and willing to strike down the newly proposed AHCA, or Trumpcare, partisan politics be damned.
In an initial committee vote held on Thursday morning, three Republicans in the Conservative Freedom Caucus voted against moving the AHCA legislation to the House floor, standing alongside Democrats in the Caucus. Those lawmakers were Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), David Brat (R-Va.), and Gary Palmer (R-Ala.).
The measure still passed despite the Republican opposition, 19-17, but this early courage from key Republicans does not bode well for the future of the bill.
Many Republicans are concerned foremost about the effect that the healthcare plan will have on their senior citizen voters. As the CBO estimated, a 64-year-old American who under Obamacare paid just over $1,000 a month would be forced to pay closer to $14,000 under Trumpcare. Others are concerned about the massive number of Americans that would lose their coverage under the new healthcare plan, or about the dramatic rise in premiums.
But as Mother Jones noted, those who voted against the legislation likely did so because the Freedom Caucus is displeased that Trumpcare doesn’t go far enough to repeal all aspects of Obamacare.
“The Freedom Caucus has attacked the repeal bill because it maintains Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion until 2020 and offers refundable tax credits for people who buy insurance on the individual market.”
On the House floor, 22 Republicans would need to vote “No,” to kill the legislation. If the House Freedom Caucus turns against the bill en masse, it will be more than enough to kill Trumpcare before it ever reaches the Senate.