Health-care bill vote in House to be held next week

U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks to the media about the American Health Care Act at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017.

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTX317W3

The House will vote next week on the GOP-sponsored legislation to replace Obamacare, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, announced on the House floor Friday. 

McCarthy said that after votes on a series of non-controversial bills, the House will consider “critical pieces” of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. One of the votes will be on the American Healthcare Act. 

“This bill eliminates the many taxes and mandates of Obamacare, gives patients enhanced tools to take control of their healthcare decisions and expands choice so that Americans are free to pick the plan that is best for themselves and their families,” he said.

The House will also consider measures that would create competition in the healthcare market by eliminating anti-trust protection for insurance providers and one that would allow small businesses to pool together and purchase plans.

McCarthy warned lawmakers that “late votes in the House are likely Thursday” and members should adjust their schedules, suggesting that the major healthcare votes will be held that day.

Several conservative and moderate Republicans have expressed opposition to main healthcare bill, but the scheduling of the vote indicates that GOP leaders are confident that they have the 216 votes necessary to pass the measure.  

But the bill’s fate in the Senate remains uncertain. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, this week said that the measure does not have the votes to pass the Senate. Given the 52-48 majority Republicans hold, they cannot afford to lose more than two votes. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.