Latest on House health care vote

ABC News' Rick Klein and Amna Nawaz on the latest developments of the AHCA vote expected today.
14:41 | 03/24/17

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Transcript for Latest on House health care vote
Hey guys on an Abbas here in New York while a house vote is expected today on the American health care act that of course is the Republican version of the health care bill to repeal and replace. The EC a known as Obama care. We're going to be wig you all day breaking down every little bit of incremental progress as it's made or not made. Because as we know things don't always pan out as expected on Capitol Hill but let me now recline are political director. Down in DC who has been tracking the action for the last day plus at least in this. Most intense period we thought we have a though yesterday we didn't Rick the big question are we gonna get about. I did the president has said there will be a vote that the house speaker said that will be a vote I thought the one member of congress last night is that well me last for the weekend that obviously. As might it look they're not gonna vote. If they don't have the votes and guess what they don't have the votes that hasn't changed since yesterday this new compromise. That was put forward last night that basically gave in to a lot of the conservative demands. That scenes and to provide a little bit of momentum but as people started to pour into the details just a little bit more that's sort of the ball park. And the signals overnight and into this morning have not been positive coming out of house leadership coming out of the White House. They say publicly that they're optimistic we've continued to see moderate means drop. We're continuing to see silence from the conservatives that this was designed to appease so people are angry they are frustrated and as of now on that they do not have the votes to pass this thing. Service let's catch people we'll about a what's happened over the last day or so we thought as I mention there was going to be a vote yesterday. You mentioned there seems to have been an ultimatum of sorts issued from the president what exactly is happening behind the scenes here and where is the hold up. So they've been shuttling between rival camps that they've been house leadership as well as White House officials some of that apple white house on the in the capital and they're trying to balance the the liberals who are the moderates in the Republican Party who are concerned that this goes too far and wanna see more generosity. Toward people that might be hurt by this and the conservatives who want a more pure approach and a more. A more wholesome and fulsome repeal of obamacare they have been trending pretty far in the right direction in the right as in the conservative direction. And what they did last night is cut a deal that would that would take outlets Opel essential health benefits that are provided under obamacare these are things that every health plan. Past offer that includes things like maternity care a drug counseling. The emergency services like ambulances and ER visits those are now gone and left the discretion of the State's. But what's happened is that it with every time that you may concession to the right. You lose some people in the center. And they just haven't gotten numbers together so it started as a it and we could track the progress up 24 hours ago because the speaker of the house is supposed to give a press conference. Route 330 yesterday afternoon. Where he was going to announce the the schedule a vote for the rest of the day. It guaranteed a vote yesterday the president the white house Press Secretary shot spies are all said all systems or go. And then within a matter of minutes they realize they were gonna get it done they rescheduled everything for today. And the language of this new compromise comes out. But guess what those conservatives they're still not on board even though they have been given so much on this the members of the house freedom caucus the most conservative faction in the house. They have not signed on are not necessarily opposing this still reviewing they're still deciding. And they are drawing the ire of their conservative colleagues and moderate colleagues people say we are giving you everything what does it take to get to yes there just aren't enough of them and as more people look at this bill. We're seeing Ames straw it was one prominent one the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Republican congressman from New Jersey Rodney freely house and that is a very big name it's a long name it's also a very big game. When you realize that's a committee chairman. Who is now against this bill that rarely happens on on bills of this magnitude. Three I think a lot of people have been watching what's happening. And are wondering you know why the process is moving away that it is why these things always tend to dragged themselves out like this and and I want to get into the process a little bit more we do the first. I think people are also wondering about. What this bill that they are right now considering. What it means for that it for their wallets for their coverage for their premiums and we have some new information right from the CBO. From Kaiser Family Foundation we know a little bit about what this means an actual practice if it even gets passed right what do we now that's right. That's right it and we should always preface by saying for most people. It's not gonna matter that much at all you get your. Health insurance through your employer as as most Americans do or through worth or Medicare or Medicaid as it this season senior or someone who's below the poverty line. It's probably not gonna matter you don't get health care much cheaper we know that from the CBO report. But the millions Americans who get their robot yet get health care now through and one of the exchanges through obamacare or through the Medicaid so called expansion. Under obamacare we're talking about big changes were talking about fourteen million people expected to lose their health insurance next year some of them. Because they are expected to choose not to have health insurance many of them. Because they aren't in it in populations where the subsidies that they'll be getting will be far less generous than they were under obamacare the Medicaid expansion itself sticks around against Indians if phased out in twenty twice so in the out years as we go on more and more Americans are losing their health insurance under this under this model Republicans dispute the model. But again that's where it is. And then this change that I mentioned about the so called essential health benefits that's a big because one of the things obamacare did is for it said personal you have to go get health insurance. And it says that health insurers you have to have a baseline of what this insurance looks like it has the cover basically everything all the big stop. That includes as I mentioned mental health services drug addiction counseling. That includes emergency services that are clues maternity services. So right now if you have health insurance this country you're paying for those services of course you may not. You might expect to get pregnant you may not expect to get addicted to a drug but you may need those services that's why it's in the air conservatives hate that. They have said. It did the marketplace should allow people to. To provide so called skinny plants that you can go in choosing get a much cheaper plan that only involves a couple pieces of that catastrophic coverage they like to say well you know you're an older American and older American male you don't need maternity coverage. Course that I think this is the broader point of why it's important for everywhere everyone that's how insurance markets work. This will be a major revision this will be a major change to how good it to the reforms under obamacare. And it could pave the way toward an erosion of some of the other protections like the cap on lifetime benefits. Like to guarantee against preexisting conditions. Stopping you from getting health insurance those are big changes so I think there's a lot of people watching this right now including in in districts and in states that voted heavily for Donald Trump. That are worried about that the true consequences good and I should note is that. For a lot of these changes that are getting done at the last minute. The language is only been out for a few hours about late last night the Congressional Budget Office has not and will not look at the latest so. There's going to be a vote in the house if they stick to the schedule with out public scrutiny and without independent analysis of what the actual attacks would be. Sir Rick for anyone who's been watching the live channel and they've seen there's a lot of activity happening on the house floor right now what is actually happening now it just past 1130 here on the East Coast. What her house members engaged in right now and when could we see an actual vote. Well I'm sure they're talking about last night's exciting college basketball game. I dislike you what do that he and any workplace. The there right now they're there'd they're debating some of the procedural pieces that would allow for the vote to happen at some point this is walkie stuff but they basically have to do it to give themselves more flexibility when key thing. They need to do for instance is that typically. There's a so called three day rule in consideration it's of a bill. They need to waive that to allow them to move this they move this much more quickly you know I talked to Republican congressman Tom Cole from Oklahoma is a long time. It is member of the house who's been close to leaders has been leadership in the past is very close the Paul Ryan in to. To whip McCarthy. And he said that they realize the urgency is now and that they need to make this happen very quickly they they're concerned frankly that it if members of congress go home. And here from the constituents about this it may sway votes they feel like they have the maximum leverage right now. They add to that we're president trop delivered via his targets last night he sent his OMB director he sent the chief strategist. And its chief of staff. To Capitol Hill to say this is it guys I want to vote by the end of the day on Friday that is that aid take it or leave it. Put up or shut up it has to happen on Friday and house leaders want to deliver that to him but I'll tell you. Behind the scenes there was a lot of suspicion about White House motives on this there's a story that went up. People that rich people on the house floor their reading these web sites as well right partners is up with a big splashy story saying that Steve Bannon. Is critical of the deal he of course a very close White House advisor he is true motives on that as someone has long been anti Paul Ryan. Under under scrutiny under questioning right now. Publicly the White House says they're all in but privately how what how would they actually feel if this goes down and who where they setting up for failure all of those things. Are part of the gossip in the conversation on the house floor and beyond. Rick here's the thing for folks are taking the ball in from afar this is something. Very likely their own Republican representative has been talking about. For over stabbing years now repeal and replace repeal and replace repeal and replace it with essential part of president Trump's campaign to. The message from his surrogates is now if you can't do this now forget about it we're moving on that's. That's pretty remarkable stuff even in this day Kate's right. It is in and it's hard hits it to discern how much of that is part of the deal style from auto. Vs actual strategic back. If they come back and say we need another week Mr. President is he gonna say okay you can haven't heard you say no I said that's it we're moving on the tax reform into other things and I'm Lamar lock up. I think people are skeptical as to whether whether he actually keep to that if it comes to it. But BT you're point about how long they've been talking about it this to climb inside the and the heads of many house members I've covered them I've talked to them I've interviewed him I've seen him interviewed. Over several years. When they took votes during the Obama years to repeal or replace obamacare they knew it wouldn't matter they knew that it wasn't going anywhere. And it gets to the difference between being the opposition party and a governing party. These guys have the key to the store now these votes matter it's a point it's been mead. Very prominently by the White House. But it's an uncomfortable one for a lot of these members of congress because as soon as those votes matter now you have constituents or impacted by these things now you ever. Reality to match up against rhetoric. It was way easier to repeal obamacare when it didn't matter for any one. Now it matters and they are hearing about it and they are hearing from people with horrible stories to tell about the consequences. And they're thinking about it once again so for the people that are frustrated with the way the process works. In a sense it's never pretty on the but this is the process working. This is how. Legislation is made people look at contacted of their constituents that carpet constituents are contacting offices are saying. This is what is going to happen I don't want you to vote for this or I do want you to vote for that and and they and they are working through it right now and we get so used to in in Washington votes that this gets slammed the rule on a party line vote. That's typically how things work Tippett and especially in the House of Representatives where they've got up a little warmer corporal margin then in the senate. But in actuality these are members of congress doing a gut check. Is this what I want either on the either because I'm worried about the the human impact are worried because it doesn't match what we set about repeal and replace. Is this the vote that I actually want to take and you are seeing that democracy in action. Well is this what I want as a representative but also is this what my constituents want to write because as you mentioned earlier. This bill has only been out there for a matter of hours so most people may not even know what it is that representatives. Are voting on and I think there was a Quinnipiac University poll yesterday that showed. Based on the version that had been presented to people when they conducted apple 56%. Of voters say that they did not like the new Republican plan and that only had the approval of 41%. Of Republicans. That they pulled most people don't even know what exactly this new bell intent. And I tell you that hole was being widely shared among democratic circles as wells Republican circles. On Capitol Hill yesterday as you say it's before these latest changes but I can't imagine. That there's any sales up that's gonna make him go up significantly that that's a strategy of hope. Not anything else. It they're cognizant of that and because those two things that you mentioned are related what are my constituents want. And what do I want as a representative most of these guys like getting reelected they like being in congress it's so so they're not gonna do something that they feel like is going to be. Assigning it be the signing away the rest of their career. At some of the big picture points to remember here in terms of the politics of this. You have a president with with sagging popularity he's popular some parts of the country but nationally these are very bad numbers for new president sixty some odd days. We have a bill that is unpopular we have a bill that we know it's probably not going to get passed in the senate. Regardless of what happens in the house and they are being asked to vote for this unpopular bill. But before unpopular president that's probably never going to be law that's walking the plank. And that is stopping a lot of members who otherwise would be reliable votes with leadership from doing it they're saying wait a second. This is sat up. This is a sham. I am worried about where this is headed and I don't wanna and my job based on a show vote to make Paul Ryan looked good. So that's where you start seeing the recriminations that's where you start seeing. The the the fallout. And I also mentioned is just a much different time. In in Washington politics in the days you could twist arms on the house floor in the social media age when your remarks themselves or ban the fact is Paul Ryan is a week speaker by design there's only so many things he can do to threaten. Members of his own conference the if you don't go along we're gonna force you to do it that's a change from the old days from the Tom DeLay days go back to the Sam Rayburn days. Used to be able to Tip O'Neill used to be able to get a lot of things done because party unity. Held held out first and foremost that's different. And see how this untested president is untested political environment a bill that probably isn't going anywhere anyway and that's the recipe for the chaos that's been developing on Capitol Hill for the last day. Coming up on just fifteen minutes to noon here on the East Coast and Rick it feels like we still don't have clarity on where the day might take us to your anger that's right we'll see you again. Several times you know it. You know our political director at ABC has decline down in Washington DC guys hang with us right here we're gonna have the latest on everything that's happening on Capitol Hill on the latest. On this Republican health care plan will be get a vote won't believe what happens in the meantime stick around here we're gonna have the latest tactic that's in.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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