The House of Representatives will vote on Thursday (4 May) on the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Wednesday. The California Republican said he was confident the bill will pass and move on to the Senate.
"We will be voting on the healthcare votes tomorrow. Because we have enough votes. It'll pass. It's a good bill," McCarthy told reporters, according to CNN. "We're gonna pass it. We're gonna pass it. Let's be optimistic about life."
A last-minute deal that added $8bn (£6.2bn) to the measure to help cover insurance costs for people with pre-existing conditions spurred GOP leaders to negotiate with undecided lawmakers.
The deal came after Republican Congressmen Fred Upton (R-MI) and Billy Long (R-MO) met with President Donald Trump at the White House and flipped their votes from "No" to "Yes," CNN reports.
The president, who has vowed to repeal and replace the "failing" Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), committed to supporting the amendment allowing $8bn to be spent over five years to fund high-risk pools and patients with pre-existing conditions.
According to CNN, there have not been any other major flips in support, although some undecided members appear to be open to the changes.
Rehabilitation for Ryan
Should it clear the House, the bill would be a major victory for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan was forced to pull the bill after lacking the vote to pass it back in March.
While passing the bill would finally allow the GOP to claim a win against president Barack Obama's signature healthcare accomplishment, it could also expose its members to blowback from voters in the mid-term elections, The Associated Press reports. In its original assessment, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 than under the ACA.
There is also no guarantee the bill will pass the Senate, where there is significant resistance to the measure.
News of the healthcare bill has somewhat overshadowed the passage of the $1.1tn spending bill passed by the House on Wednesday. That bill, which was widely supported by House Democrats, was the first major bipartisan legislation passed during the Trump administration.