May 1, 2017 / 1:45 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-White House expects vote on healthcare bill this week

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(Updates with lawmaker comments, background)

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - Top White House officials said on Monday they expect the U.S. House of Representatives will vote this week to pass the Republicans' latest plan to reform the nation's healthcare system, even as the party's lawmakers still appeared divided over the measure.

In interviews on CBS News on Monday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn expressed optimism the latest push to unwind former Democratic President Barack Obama's healthcare program would succeed.

"I think it will happen this week," Priebus said on CBS "This Morning" television program.

In a separate interview, Cohn said he expected the plan to come to the House floor for a full vote. "We're convinced we've got the votes, and we're going to keep moving on with our agenda," he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans campaigned on a pledge to repeal and replace Obama's health care law, also known as Obamacare, but have so far failed to unite around a plan.

A reworked proposal failed to secure enough support for a vote last week. A group of hard-line Republican conservatives backed it, but more moderate conservatives remained wary.

Republican Representative Charlie Dent, a moderate from Pennsylvania, said on Monday he still had problems with the latest version of the plan and suspected there were not enough votes to pass it now.

"Too many Americans are going to be without coverage," Dent told MSNBC.

House Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan, in several television interviews on Monday, said he expected there would be enough House Republican votes to pass the bill this week.

"This bill doesn’t get all the way there but it’s a good step and is ... the best we can get out of the House right now," Jordan told CNN. (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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