Health and Science

Republicans reportedly may try another vote on Obamacare replacement bill next week

HHS Secretary Tom Price on upholding Obamacare
HHS Secretary Tom Price on upholding Obamacare

House Republican leaders reportedly may try to hold a vote next week on their Obamacare replacement plan, which suffered a humiliating setback last week.

The GOP's bill, the American Health Care Act, was yanked from the floor of the House right before a scheduled vote Friday after it became clear that too many conservative and moderate Republicans would vote "no" and doom it to failure.

That cancellation came a day after the original scheduled vote, which was postponed to give the Trump administration and Republican leaders more time to round up support for the proposal.

But Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that GOP leaders are now weighing making another attempt at winning passage for the bill.

The news service cited two unidentified Republican lawmakers who said leaders are discussing a vote.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Bloomberg, when asked if the GOP bill would come up again, "Yes. As soon as we figure out and get the votes." But he also said no vote is currently scheduled.

AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., tweeted out a message that seemed to pour cold water on Bloomberg's story right after it posted online.


Several sources on the staff of the GOP leadership told CNBC they had not heard of any such planned vote.

Bloomberg's story was followed by a 2.7-percent drop in the price of the BI North America Hospitals Competitive Peer Group Index, which reflects the prices of a basket of hospital company stocks.

Lingering Obamacare court cases are troubling insurers
Lingering Obamacare court cases are troubling insurers

The story comes a day after those leaders publicly claimed that they were now closer to repealing Obamacare than ever before, and that they were working with members of the GOP caucus to win consensus on a replacement plan.

Bloomberg said that members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who were major stumbling blocks to winning passage for the bill, have been discussing possible changes to the bill with GOP moderates who had also planned on voting no last Friday.

The bill would repeal many Obamacare taxes, restructure the way financial aid is awarded to customers of individual health insurance plans, and scale back federal Medicaid spending.

Ryan and the Trump administration have touted the plan as one that would increase access to affordable health care to Americans.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, has estimated that 14 million more people would become uninsured next year if the bill is passed into law than would be the case if Obamacare remains intact. By 2026, there would be 24 million more uninsured Americans than there would be under that scenario, the CBO has said.

Premiums in the individual plan market would spike an average of 15 percent to 20 percent higher in the next two years than they would under Obamacare if the bill becomes law, CBO estimates. But by 2026, average premiums for those plans are projected to be 10 percent lower if the bill becomes law than they would be if Obamacare was retained.

Watch: What happens to Obamacare now?

What might happen to Obamacare
What might happen to Obamacare