- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2017

There will be no House vote on repealing Obamacare this week, the chamber’s majority leader confirmed Thursday evening.

“We are not voting on health care tomorrow or Saturday,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said after a leadership meeting in the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

It already was clear that Republicans would have a hard time mustering the 216 votes needed, as 21 Republicans have publicly come out against a deal that the House Freedom Caucus had signed off on.

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill had hoped to pass a Obamacare-repeal bill by the symbolic date of Mr. Trump’s 100th day in office, which would be Saturday.

But centrist Republicans such as the Tuesday Group remained skeptical of the new plan, to let states opt out of parts of Obamacare requiring insurers to cover “essential” benefits such as maternity and mental health care or prescription drugs.

States can also waive rules requiring insurers to charge healthy consumers the same amount as sicker consumers, so long as states set up risk pools to subsidize those priced out of the market, since insurers still cannot deny people with preexisting medical conditions.

Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, downplayed the significance of the vote delay, as Mr. Ryan had downplayed the 100-day “deadline” issue earlier Thursday.

“We’re gonna go when we have the votes,” the Wisconsin Republican said.

Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this report

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