As House Republicans hurtle toward a vote on a complicated, unpopular piece of health care legislation that has not yet received a proper analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, they face two basic problems.
On the one hand, the American Health Care Act might simply die in the Senate. In that case, vulnerable members will have taken a tough vote on an unpopular bill for no real reason.
On the other hand, the AHCA might actually become law. In that case, all the various gymnastics and talking points and deceptions that surround GOP health care rhetoric will be irrelevant.
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If the bill passes, Americans who were promised better insurance for more people will find that we have worse insurance for fewer people. Americans who were told that people with preexisting health conditions would still be able to find affordable coverage will find that they in fact cannot. Republicans will have set themselves up to reap the whirlwind.
@dylanlscott: Interesting wrinkle in AHCA politics: Lawmakers and aides making the case that states won't actually pursue the law's Obamacare waivers.
All in all, it's extremely hard to tell what outcome exactly House Republicans are hoping for. Some are offering assurances that since the bill will have to be changed to pass the Senate anyway, there's no reason to sweat the details too much. Others are telling journalists that the latest waiver provisions added to appease the hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus aren't a big deal because no state would be crazy enough to actually ask for them. But mostly, nobody is thinking that far ahead.