House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday promised that the Republican’s health care bill that is seen as an ObamaCare alternative will secure the votes needed to pass in the House, Politico reported.
Ryan’s guarantee comes as House Republicans’ warn the proposed legislation comes with too much cost and too much government -- signaling a tough fight ahead for GOP leaders looking to send a bill promptly to President Trump’s desk.
“We will have the 218 votes,” Ryan said, according to Politico. “This is the beginning of the legislative process. We’ll have the 218 when this thing comes to the floor. I can guarantee you that.”
The legislation, released Monday evening, heads next to a pair of committees where lawmakers will start refining it.
But influence-wielding conservatives are likely to seek significant changes.
On the Senate side, Kentucky’s Rand Paul told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning that the proposal’s call to continue the original law’s Medicaid expansion through 2020 -- before ending additional federal aid to participating states -- is “untenable.”
Trump appeared to be making good on his promise, tweeting at Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has criticized the bill.
"I feel sure that my friend @RandPaul will come along with the new and great health care program because he knows Obamacare is a disaster!" the president wrote. The president plans to reconvene the group next week and will meet with conservative leaders to discuss the issue Wednesday.
The new GOP plan would repeal the current law's unpopular fines on people who don't carry health insurance. It also would replace income-based subsidies, which the law provides to help millions of Americans pay premiums, with age-based tax credits that may be skimpier for people with low incomes. Those payments would phase out for higher-earning people.
The legislation also would limit future federal funding for Medicaid, which covers low-income people, about 1 in 5 Americans. And it would loosen rules that Obama's law imposed for health plans directly purchased by individuals.
The concerted conservative opposition was a remarkable rebuke to legislation GOP leaders hope will fulfill seven years of promises to repeal and replace Obama's Affordable Care Act, pledges that played out in countless Republican campaigns for House and Senate as well as last year's race for president. Instead, the groups that are uniting to oppose the new House legislation include many that sprang up to oppose passage of "Obamacare" in the first place.
"As the bill stands today, it is Obamacare 2.0," the billionaire Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. "Millions of Americans would never see the improvements in care they were promised, just as Obamacare failed to deliver on its promises."
The Associated Press contributed to this report