Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) came out against President Trump’s healthcare reform bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), on Tuesday night. Now, after meeting with Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Barletta says he will vote for the bill.
Barletta, a longtime Trump supporter, met with the two last night. He said he secured their support to introduce changes to the AHCA that will block healthcare tax credits to people who cannot prove they are lawfully in the country.
“The president gave his full support to legislation I will introduce to deny health care tax credits to illegal immigrants, and the speaker promised to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. Because my concerns were met, I will vote for the bill with the understanding that my bill will receive full consideration on the House floor next month,” Barletta said in a statement after the meeting.
A Barletta ‘no’ vote on the bill could have caused a headache for the administration and Ryan. The final House vote is expected to be close.
As it is, AHCA supporters hardly could have scripted a better story than Barletta’s reversal.
The decision by Trump and Ryan to allow this change shows flexibility and could give the bill momentum. Barletta’s amendment itself will not change any major parts of the bill but may help build some bridges with conservatives in Congress who were on the fence.