Republicans plan to pass a bill on Friday that would slash funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and would also dismantle the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of coverage to millions of Americans.
The House is set to vote on the legislation at 1 p.m.
If it passes, it will become law in the next few days.
But it could face an immediate challenge from President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened to veto it.
Republicans hope to use the bill as leverage to push through a major legislative agenda, including repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, a move that has divided Republicans and infuriated the White House.
The bill would also slash funding from other health programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps low-income Americans pay for food and other essentials, and the Medicaid program for the poor.
The president has also threatened to pull the plug on Medicaid expansion in his budget request.
Trump said he wants to “do something very drastic” to cut the Medicaid budget and said he would not accept cuts to the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
“The problem is, the people who will pay the biggest portion of that will be the people that are on Medicaid, the very people that would be hardest hit by cuts,” Trump said.
“And it will be people who are very dependent on Medicaid.
It will be those people who get the biggest cut, the poorest people.”
Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to take on the administration.
The proposal has sparked protests in states across the country, with thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets on Saturday in dozens of cities.
“People are calling out the president, calling the senators, calling members of Congress, saying that we don’t need you to cut Medicaid, we don-t need you on Medicaid,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
“They are calling our governors and saying ‘we’re going to shut down your state,'” said Rep and former presidential candidate Rick Berg (R) of Minnesota.
“But they have not actually taken the steps to actually take on our president.
They haven’t done it yet.
I’m not even sure what steps they’ve taken, because they haven’t yet taken it.”
The House passed the House version of the bill in April.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill Thursday.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Senate bill would increase premiums by as much as 13 percent, increase deductibles by more than $1,000 for people with high incomes and cut benefits for millions of low- and middle-income people.
“What we’re looking at is a big, big cut,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who said he voted for the House bill.
“That would be a disaster for millions and millions of people.”
Democrats are pressing for the GOP to use its leverage to force Republicans to compromise on their own bill.
The plan would have to pass both the House and Senate in order for it to become law.
But a bipartisan group of senators has been working on a plan that would preserve the expansion of Medicaid in exchange for additional tax cuts.
The legislation, called the American Health Care Reform Act, would allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion, and Republicans would have only to pass legislation that provides the states with money to cover the expansion.
It would also allow states that opted out of the expansion to use their existing Medicaid money to pay for the Medicaid expansion.
But the CBO estimated that a number of Republicans in the Senate who are against Medicaid expansion would be forced to vote against the bill, and they would likely vote for it.
“If you’re in a state that opts out, it could be catastrophic,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who has been pushing for the bill.