President Donald Trump has set March 24 ultimatum for the vote on the new health care bill in the House of Representatives.
The American Healthcare Act is intended to replace parts of President Barack Obama’s signature law, ObamaCare.
However, March 23 vote was delayed because of opposition from some Republicans – despite President Trump’s repeated attempts to persuade them to back the legislature.
The president now says he wants to move on and vote – whatever the result on March 24.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said this was exactly the message delivered to Republican lawmakers at a meeting behind closed doors on March 23.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “For seven-and-a-half years we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it’s collapsing and it’s failing families, and tomorrow we’re proceeding.”
Meanwhile, New York’s Republican representative Chris Collins said: “The president has said he wants a vote tomorrow, up or down.
“If for any reason it is down, we are just going to move forward with additional parts of his agenda.”
Repealing and replacing ObamaCare was a major plank of Donald Trump’s election campaign.
March 23 vote postponement is a setback for the president who had insisted he would win the numbers to pass it through the lower chamber of Congress on that day.
Earlier on March 23, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump had made a “rookie’s error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you’re not ready”.
The healthcare bill needs 215 votes to pass but ran into opposition mainly from conservative Republicans who believed it did not roll back enough of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
ObamaCare helped 20 million previously uninsured Americans get health insurance but has been plagued by increases in insurance premiums, which were also a problem before the health law.
Donald Trump promised a new law that would cover more people and at a lower cost.
The Republican bill keeps some of the popular elements of ObamaCare but limits future federal funding for Medicaid, which covers low-income people.
A new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office released on March 23 said recent changes to the bill would make it costlier than previously thought.
The number of uninsured Americans would rise to 24 million by 2026 under the new law, the budget analysis said.
Groups representing doctors, hospitals and the elderly have said they are opposed to the Republican bill.