With the vote scheduled for today, a handful of California’s 14 Republican members of Congress are still weighing how to vote on the GOP plan to undo and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.
California’s 38 House Democrats have lined up pretty firmly against the bill, as have most of the chamber’s Democrats, so Republicans are on their own to pass the bill. House Republicans can afford to lose around 20 members and still pass it with a simple majority.
Constituents are flooding House offices with calls today, and both conservative and liberal interest groups are pushing reticent members to vote no.
All but one of the undecided members represent congressional districts that picked Hillary Clinton for president and have already been named as districts Democrats think they can flip in 2018. Several also represent districts with a large number of residents who are on Medi-Cal, a program that would likely shrink if the bill passes.
Rep. Jeff Denham: Undecided
Denham of Turlock was among a group of Republican members who met with President Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon. He said he’s still reviewing the bill, but “we’re actually working on finding a resolution.”
“We need greater access in California. We continue to expand our Medicaid population without reimbursing doctors, so we end up having not only a doctor shortage but doctors that won’t see Medicaid patients," Denham said.
Rep. David Valadao: Undecided
Valadao of Hanford said between votes Tuesday that he is still looking at the changes House leaders put forward Monday night to make the bill more palatable, and is “still weighing our options.”
Rep. Paul Cook: Undecided
“Ensuring that Americans have access to affordable quality care is paramount. As far as the American Health Care Act, I’m still studying the details of it,” Cook, of Yucca Valley, said in a statement last week.
Rep. Steve Knight: Undecided
Knight of Palmdale has said he doesn’t have a position on the bill at this point.
“The future of our nation’s healthcare is extremely important and warrants thorough examination and discussion, which is why we will continue to carefully review the recent proposed changes to the bill and discuss its impacts with members of our community,” Knight said in a statement.
Rep. Ed Royce: Undecided
“I remain concerned about the rising cost of healthcare for Southern Californians and am listening to the feedback I’ve received from my constituents on this bill,” Royce of Fullerton said in a statement. He had remained silent until Friday.
LaMalfa of Richvale said he’s still looking at the details, but as long as he’s satisfied that the original recipients of Medicaid will continue to be covered, he's expecting to vote yes.
“I’m hearing good things, so I'm leaning that way for now,” he said.” There are aspects of Medicaid that need to be able to ride this out through the transition.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher: Yes
After being initially unsure, Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach said he plans to vote in favor because of the changes to the bill this week.
“Reagan always said don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Rohrabacher said. “We’re accomplishing something good, but it’s not perfect. It’s going in the right direction.”
He’s been warning colleagues that killing Trump’s first major effort will stop his momentum on other Republican priorities.
“If this goes down, we’re going to be neutering our President Trump,” Rohrabacher said. “You don’t cut the balls off your bull and expect that’s he’s going to go out and get the job done.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: Yes
McCarthy of Bakersfield has vocally defended the bill.
“Thursday will be a big day. Thursday will be the day that we keep our word that we will repeal and replace,” he said in a news conference.
Rep. Mimi Walters: Yes
Walters of Irvine indicated last week that she supports the bill.
She said in a statement that it “offers real solutions that will allow Americans to have healthcare plans that work for them” and keeps Republicans’ healthcare promises.
Rep. Tom McClintock: Yes
McClintock of Elk Grove was once a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right Republicans who largely oppose the bill. He was initially leery of the bill, especially when the Congressional Budget Office’s report showed it would have a substantial negative effect on older, low-income workers.
But he announced Tuesday that he would vote for the bill, saying changes to the bill had satisfied him.
“I wish it did everything necessary to restore an optimal health insurance market,” McClintock said on the House floor Tuesday. “But it moves us toward that goal, and even as a stand-alone measure, I am confident it will ultimately create a market in most states that will produce better services, greater choices and lower costs for the vast majority of Americans.”
His move won him praise from Trump during Republicans’ closed-door meeting Tuesday morning, according to a person in the room.
Rep. Devin Nunes: Yes
“I’m for it, yes. It’s a no-brainer," Nunes (R-Tulare), who served on Trump’s transition team, said between votes Tuesday. “We’re going to give good quality healthcare to all Americans. Coming from the San Joaquin Valley where we play second fiddle to big cities, this is a huge advantage for us.”
Rep. Ken Calvert: Yes
Calvert of Corona has been a vocal supporter of the bill since it was first announced, and his staff said he supports the amended bill, though he will keep an eye on any changes that could happen on the House floor.
Rep. Duncan Hunter: Yes
Hunter of Alpine was an early backer of Trump’s campaign and supports the bill.
“The longer Congress sits idle, the longer it’s going to take to create room for the market to adjust and foster the type of competition that will actually compel lower rates and access,” said his chief of staff, Joe Kasper.
10:23 a.m.: This story was updated with a comment from Rep. Ed Royce.
9:19 a.m.: This story was updated with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s decision. It was originally posted March 23.