House Budget Committee Advances Republican Health Care Plan

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The troubled GOP health care bill barely advanced on Thursday.

The American Health Care Act was passed out of the House Budget Committee quickly by a 19-17 vote.

That’s one vote shy of what would have been needed to deal a damaging and embarrassing, though not fatal, setback to the party’s showpiece legislation.

Three conservative Republicans – Reps. Dave Brat, R-Va., Mark Sanford, R-S.C. and Gary Palmer, R-Ala. – voted against the bill.

Unlike last week’s vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in the Budget Committee, no Democrats attempted to slow the process down by forcing the committee to read the entire bill.

Even so, the tally underscored the challenge Republican leaders face in trying to round up votes for the measure. They hope to bring it to the full House next week.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a fresh indication of uncertainty. Republican leaders have repeatedly said that was their schedule, but opposition mushroomed after a congressional report concluded this week that the measure would strip 24 million people of coverage in a decade.

Ryan told reporters that GOP leaders could now “incorporate feedback to improve this bill, to refine this bill,” reflecting an urgency to buttress support.

The committee is planning to debate a slew of non-binding proposals suggesting changes in the measure. They may provide clues about the types of changes the legislation will need for it to win House approval.

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