President Donald Trump said Thursday he sees a good chance of a vote on a new Obamacare repeal-and-replace measure next week or soon after, telling reporters a plan is getting “better and better.”
Earlier, a report said the White House was eyeing Wednesday as a target date for a vote, but a Republican aide on Capitol Hill didn’t commit to that date.
“This is a great bill,” Trump said at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. “This is a great plan. It’s evolving. We have a good chance of getting it soon, whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter.”
The Washington Post’s Robert Costa tweeted that a top White House official said aides to Trump and congressional Republicans will circulate revised language on a health-care bill Thursday evening. The Wednesday target date could change, the official told Costa.
Trump and Republicans are eager to take another crack at replacing President Barack Obama’s health-care law, following the implosion of an earlier attempt, in March.
Politico reported Thursday morning that an emerging deal proposes giving states more flexibility to opt out of major Obamacare provisions while preserving protections like the ban on discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.
Read: Why you shouldn’t procrastinate on enrolling in Obamacare or Medicare this year.
A senior Republican aide told MarketWatch the question is whether a bill can get 216 votes in the House, “and the answer isn’t clear at this time.” The aide said there is no legislative text and no agreement to see how many members would vote for it.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment.
Lawmakers return to Washington next week from a spring recess, and taking a vote on health care would be just one item on an already crowded schedule. The government is funded through April 28, and Congress must pass a bill before then or bring on a partial shutdown.
Trump also said he wanted to avoid a shutdown. “I think we want to keep the government open, don’t you agree?” he said in response to a reporter’s question.
Also read: Here’s what would happen during a government shutdown.