Exclusive–Deputy House GOP Whip: Leadership Has Votes to Pass RyanCare Bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, takes his notes as he and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walk away following a news conference on the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

The deputy House Republican whip told Breitbart News that the House GOP leadership has the votes to pass the bill Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-WI) crafted to rescue Obamacare, named the American Health Care Act, scheduled for a vote Thursday.

“This is the biggest reform of Medicaid since the program was put in existence, probably the most biggest entitlement reform in the history of the government,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R.-TX), describing the pitch he makes to convince House Republicans to support the RyanCare bill.

Flores said the claim by the House Freedom Caucus to have at least 25 solid no votes does not jibe with his 0wn whip count.

The Texan said GOP lawmakers are also supporting the bill because it puts patients and families back in control of their medical treatments. “There is not a one-size, government specified program and state’s have substantially more influence than they had in the past.”

The deputy whip said he is aware that House conservatives are not willing to accept that the RyanCare bill does not remove the Essential Benefits requirement from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which created Obamacare, also known by the shorthand ACA.

Programs and infrastructure of Obamacare cannot be addressed in the American Health Care Act legislation because it is a budget bill, and the Byrd Rule prohibits non-budget related items from bills on the budget track, he said.

That fix is planned for later on in the process, when Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price makes administrative changes to the Obamacare regime, he said. “He has said he has hundreds of opportunities to change the implementation of the ACA, the original Obamacare bill. He’s rolled out two and he said his goal is roll out two-a-week, but he can’t signal those in advance.”

Flores said federal law, the Administrative Procedures Act, prohibits Price from telling lawmakers what rules and regulations he intends to change.


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