Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said Thursday he was inclined to vote for the American Health Care Act on Friday after a tense meeting with House leaders and key members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet.
"The inclination is good, my inclination is strong," Fortenberry, 56, a moderate Nebraska Republican who was undecided on the legislation, told reporters after the session on Capitol Hill. "I have always had the habit of going through the entire deliberative process."
In the meeting, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Republicans the vote would come Friday regardless of whether House members agreed with the final plan or not.
"We’re going to vote, and we'll see," Bannon told reporters after the session. "Let's vote."
House leaders postponed Thursday's vote over concerns they could not gain the required 216 votes to pass the proposal that seeks to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"It was a very strong meeting," Fortenberry said. "It was a meeting in which a lot of people were deeply emotional.
"People expressed deep concern about the current trajectory of what's happening to healthcare in this country," he added. "They want us to come together and pull together so we actually lower costs and improve healthcare outcomes and protect vulnerable persons."
Fortenberry, who was first elected in 2004, said he had been noncommittal because moderates wanted improvements that would help lower costs from seniors and low-income people.
"I had marked undecided because we had wanted to see some changes, to potentially help the lower-income aging population in our country better — and we've seen that.
"We've also got some additional changes to Medicaid, particularly to help the disabled," he said. "There were other considerations that we've been able to work through.
"I think all of the difficulties this week have actually resulted in a better bill."
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