Two key moderate Republicans say they will support a Republican plan to “replace” Obamacare. I put the word replace in quotation marks because I think the word improve better describes what the proposal does.
The two Republicans are Reps. Fred Upton (Michigan) and Billy Long (Missouri). They were won over after a visit to the White House by the addition to the existing proposal of $8 billion in funds over five years to supplement the insurance of people with pre-existing health problems.
Upton predicted that the bill now would “likely” pass. He’s an old Washington hand — a true insider — so I take his prediction seriously. But Upton hedges his prediction by saying “likely,” so I gather that the votes aren’t quite there yet.
The vote could come tomorrow. The House is scheduled to adjourn on Friday until May 16.
Democrats argue that the $8 billion to supplement insurance for people with pre-existing conditions isn’t enough. Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times discuss that debate here.
Peter Nelson of the Center of the American Experiment argues here that, even without the $8 billion, the proposed Obamacare improvement legislation would strengthen pre-existing condition protection.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed that the Whip’s office has notified Republican members that the vote will, indeed, occur tomorrow.