Updated on May 3 at 8:37 p.m.
House Republican leaders will try again on Thursday to pass legislation partially repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, insisting they now have the votes six weeks after their bill collapsed before reaching the floor.
“We will pass this bill,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday evening after he and Speaker Paul Ryan decided to schedule a vote on the American Health Care Act.
Whether they do remains to be seen. House leaders voiced a similar confidence in March right up until they abruptly scrapped a long-planned vote amid opposition from both conservative and moderate members of the party. After weeks of negotiations led by the White House, the hardline Freedom Caucus and a top-ranking but isolated party moderate, the leadership endorsed an amendment that brought more than a dozen conservative opponents of the bill aboard. The change would allow states to seek a waiver from enforcing Obamacare’s core insurance mandates, jeopardizing affordable coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
Moderate and electorally vulnerable Republicans protested the amendment, complaining that the leadership had moved the bill to the right and threatened their promise to retain the current law’s most popular features. But days of arm-twisting, direct lobbying by President Trump, and a last-minute, $8 billion boost in funding may have locked down the 216 votes Republicans need to achieve a majority. Ryan can afford to lose no more than 22 votes, and public whip counts listed as many as 20 or more GOP lawmakers opposed to the bill, with many others either leaning no or undecided. But those counts have started to drop as the leadership struck deals—either public or private—to flip votes.