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VOL. 41 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 24, 2017

Next steps on health care: To be decided

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican House leaders delayed a planned vote Thursday on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," because they lacked the votes. The delay was a stinging setback for President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. After meeting behind closed doors with Trump administration officials Thursday night, House Republicans agreed to vote on the bill Friday.

A look at what's next:

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While GOP leadership intends to hold the House vote on the bill sometime Friday, it is unclear whether they will be able to persuade enough lawmakers to vote "yes."

In a count by The Associated Press, at least 30 Republicans said they opposed the bill, enough to defeat the measure. But the number was in constant flux amid the eleventh-hour lobbying.

Including vacancies and expected absentees, the bill would be defeated if 23 Republicans join all Democrats in voting "no."

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If the GOP can muster the votes to pass the bill, it would go on to the Senate, where its fate is unclear. Six Republican senators have said they oppose the bill in its current form, enough to sink it since all Democrats are expected to vote no. Senators also are expected to draft their own version, with any changes subject to agreement by the House.

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If the House and Senate could agree on final legislation and pass it through both chambers, it would go to Trump for his signature.

Lawmakers have been targeting final congressional approval before a two-week Easter break next month, although that date could slip.

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