The House will vote Thursday on a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, a GOP source said.
The announcement sets up a high-stakes vote that is expected to come down to the wire.
The move comes after the bill gained new momentum on Wednesday, after GOP Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.) and Billy Long (Mo.) said they would support the bill after a new amendment from Upton.
"We will be voting on the healthcare bill tomorrow. We have enough votes. It will pass. It's a good bill," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said after leaving a leadership meeting Wednesday night.
Asked by a reporter about whether the bill would have to be pulled from the floor again for lack of support, McCarthy replied: "Would you have confidence? We're going to pass it. We're going to pass it. Let's be optimistic about life."
McCarthy cited an insurer pulling out of the ObamaCare exchanges in Iowa Wednesday as a reason the law needs to be quickly repealed.
"That's why we have to make sure this passes. To save these people from ObamaCare, which continues to collapse."
GOP labors for healthcare win
Donald Trump really, really wants a victory on healthcare. Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) might need one.
The president and Speaker, still desperate for their first major legislative win in this new Republican era, are pulling out all the stops to corral 216 votes and pass a long-stalled healthcare bill through the House.
GOP leaders voiced confidence Wednesday night that the vote would happen on Thursday and that their legislation would be approved.
The stakes are high for both Trump and Ryan.
The president is still smarting from a barrage of bad headlines over the weekend saying he marked his 100th day in office without a significant legislative victory, even though his party controls both chambers of Congress. He doesn't appear concerned about the policy specifics -- he just wants a win.
Ryan is under enormous pressure to deliver that victory.
The Hill's Scott Wong and Alexander Bolton have more on the high stakes for the president and speaker: http://bit.ly/2qtI8mw
New amendment gives momentum to repeal bill
Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Billy Long (R-Mo.) on Wednesday said they would support the GOP's ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill with the addition of an amendment, giving the effort new momentum as GOP leaders push toward a floor vote as soon as Thursday.
The two Republicans made the announcement at the White House after meeting with President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE.
"I think it is likely now to pass the House," Upton said.
But Upton added he's "not on the whip team" and can't definitively say there are enough votes for it to pass.
The new amendment from Upton would provide $8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions afford their premiums in states that are granted a waiver from ObamaCare's protections.
The liberal Center for American Progress estimated on Tuesday that the high-risk pools are underfunded by much more: $200 billion over 10 years.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2p719qh
Experts: New GOP funding for health bill not enough
Healthcare experts are panning the change to the House's ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill on coverage for pre-existing conditions, saying it would not make much of a difference.
Experts say the $8 billion in an amendment from Rep. Fred Upton is nowhere near enough to help people with health conditions afford coverage if ObamaCare protections are waived.
"The amendment at hand focuses on high-risk pools, but the $8 billion amount is a pittance," said Robert Graboyes, a healthcare expert at the conservative Mercatus Center. "Spread over five years, it's a fifth of a pittance."
Read more the criticisms here. http://bit.ly/2q02Dat
Spicer: 'Literally impossible' to predict ObamaCare repeal bill's effects
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday it is "literally impossible" to predict the effects of the House Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
"There are so many variables that are unknown," Spicer told reporters. "It seems almost impossible."
Spicer was pushing back on critics who accuse Republicans of moving too fast on a proposal that could reshape the U.S. healthcare system without knowing its true impact.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qArj6m
Lawmakers plot to oust Tuesday Group leader over health bill
Some members of the Tuesday Group of House Republican moderates are plotting to oust Co-Chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) from his post amid frustration that he negotiated a deal on the ObamaCare replacement bill with the conservative Freedom Caucus, two Tuesday Group members told The Hill on Wednesday.
The matter could come up at a Tuesday Group meeting Wednesday afternoon, sources said.
"There is dissension in the ranks," said one Tuesday Group member who backs MacArthur's ouster. "The Tuesday Group, to me, is a group of concerned, like-minded representatives who discuss issues, not negotiate positions on behalf of the group, but have meetings on Tuesday and have lunch and discuss the pending issues of the day."
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qzxmYU
Only ObamaCare insurer in most of Iowa may pull out of exchanges
The vast majority of counties in Iowa could have zero insurers on the ObamaCare exchanges next year after another company announced it may not participate in 2018.
Medica said in a statement Wednesday it would pull out of the exchanges if Congress does not move quickly to stabilize the markets.
"Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa's individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today. We are examining the potential of limited offerings, but our ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point," Medica said in a statement.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qGCjhP
What we're reading:
Phil Roe's scheduling conflict: 'I'm going to my wedding Saturday' (CNN)
The absurdity of voting on the AHCA without a CBO score (Vox)
Aetna to quit Virginia's ObamaCare market (Bloomberg)
State by state:
Louisiana legislators weigh work requirements for Medicaid (The Advocate)
Groups sue to block Iowa abortion measure set to be enacted (Associated Press)
Arkansas lawmakers vote to scale back hybrid Medicaid plan (U.S. News & World Report)