House GOP leaders need at least 216 Republicans to vote for the American Health Care Act on Thursday, assuming all members are present, and at least two House Republicans are returning from medical emergencies to cast their votes. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who underwent emergency foot surgery April 27 that he originally said could keep him away from Washington for three to four weeks, says he is rushing back for the vote, and Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) — whose vote on the AHCA is undecided or unknown — says he'll do everything he can to get back for the vote following a last-minute family medical emergency, according to The Hill's Scott Wong.
Republicans plan to vote on the legislation Thursday even though there is no Congressional Budget Office analysis of the costs and benefits and many members will not have read the newest version of the bill before voting yea or nay. The legislation would affect one-sixth of the U.S. economy and every American, and the last CBO score predicted that 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance under the plan.
Incidentally, the bill the House will vote on exempts members of Congress and their staff from the legislation's unpopular threats to people with pre-existing conditions and defined essential health benefits, like maternity care, though Republicans say the House will also vote on a separate measure to close that loophole.