The House was supposed to vote on the bill to partially repeal and replace Obamacare today, but now reports say the vote has been delayed. That doesn't mean the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is done for. But its chances have always been dicey, and the last minute delay at least raises the possibility that the bill won't ever clear the House.
Reports surfaced last night saying that House Republicans planned to rewrite the bill overnight and then vote on it today, but so far no new language has been released. And a meeting between President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus, the locus of opposition to the bill, did not produce a deal.
At this point, there's no official word on when, or if, a vote might happen. The White House is suggesting that it is possible we could see a vote as early as tomorrow morning. It's also possible that the GOP health care bill dies before it gets to a vote, and that the party goes back to the drawing board, or moves on to other legislative priorities.
It's as clear as sign as we have seen yet that the bill is in real trouble, and that both GOP leadership and the White House are having trouble making the final sales pitch.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) March 23, 2017
Part of the problem is that appeasing holdouts from one faction can cause yes votes to flip to no in some other faction. It's a tricky balancing act, and it's not clear whether Republicans will ever be able to get it right.
If Republicans had the votes to pass the bill, or some modified version of it, we would either see a vote or some sort of timetable. The fact that we have neither suggests that the votes aren't there, and no one who wants the bill to pass has a good idea how to put them together.
In any case, the GOP repeal plan will have to wait until at least tomorrow, and possibly forever.