President Donald Trump's effort to roll back Obamacare gained momentum on Wednesday as Republican leaders scheduled a vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday on newly revised legislation.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed confidence the bill would pass and several moderate Republican lawmakers who previously objected to the bill said they could now support it.
A vote was expected as early as midday Thursday, with lawmakers planning to leave town later that day for a week-long recess. Late on Wednesday, the bill cleared a procedural step allowing it to advance to the House floor. Even if a narrow majority in the House approves the bill, it still faces a steep climb in the Senate, where only a few defections could kill the effort.Earlier this week, prospects for the legislation appeared grim as several influential moderate Republicans said they could not support the bill, citing their concerns about protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
Health insurers, such as Anthem Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc, Aetna Inc and Cigna Corp, have faced months of uncertainty over healthcare's future. So have hospital companies, such as HCA Holdings Inc and Tenet Healthcare Corp.Democrats have long thought their best chance of stopping the repealwould be in the Senate, where only a few Republicans would need to defect to stop the law from moving forward.
The difficulty in the House is now making Democrats optimistic that Republicans will face backlash from voters and face losing seats in the 2018 midterm elections.