Two key Republican lawmakers say that they will support a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare after changes were proposed to provide additional funds for people with pre-existing conditions.
Republican Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri announced their decision to reporters outside the White House Wednesday after meeting with President Trump about the legislation.
"I think it's likely to pass in the House," Upton told reporters.
The latest proposed amendment to the bill, the American Health Care Act, is a concession to centrists and would add $8 billion over five years to help pay for high medical costs. The funds would go to states that opt out of Obamacare protections requiring insurance companies charge healthy and sick enrollees the same amount.
Upton had said Tuesday that he would not support the bill even with additional funding.
House Speaker Paul Ryan would not say whether a vote will be scheduled for this week.
"We're getting really close," Ryan said on local Wisconsin radio station WCLO, after speaking about the latest change to the bill. "We haven't made that decision, but we're getting really close."
The latest change failed to win over the support of Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., who said he is still undecided.
He tweeted, "I just reiterated to House GOP leaders that AHCA in its current form fails to sufficiently protect Americans with pre-existing conditions."
A few minutes later, however, Curbelo tweeted that he looked forward to discussing the amendment with Upton.
"No information yet," he wrote.
The latest amendment appears to have the support of the House Freedom Caucus, the group that had pushed for the initial amendment involving pre-existing conditions.
"I believe they will find broad support among HFC members," the group's chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters.
But some Republicans are still holding out.
Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Leonard Lance of New Jersey said the amendment did not change their planned "no" votes.
In a statement, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado did not address the proposed amendment but appeared open to changing his "no" vote, which was driven by concerns about protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
"If the House will look to tighten protections for those with pre-existing conditions, I'm a yes on sending this bill for further consideration," he said. "If not, I'm a no, and we'll go back to the drawing board to clean up the mess created by the Affordable Care Act."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the amendment Wednesday.
"The proposed Upton amendment is like administering cough medicine to someone with stage 4 cancer," he said. "This Republican amendment leaves Americans with pre-existing conditions as vulnerable as they were before under this bill. High-risk pools are the real death panels: they mean waiting forever in line for unaffordable health insurance."