GOP Proposes Health Bill Tweak Similar to Obamacare Program

Lauren Perry
April 18, 2017

Six days after the House bill crashed, Trump tweeted that the Freedom Caucus "will hurt the entire Republican agenda" if they don't start cooperating.

Pelosi suggested that Republicans in Congress were aware of what they could get passed, her only fear was White House meddling.

An effort to get consensus on the bill so that it could be voted on before the House goes into recess for two weeks on Friday appears to have failed.

"This brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve", Ryan told reporters.

The growing gulf between House conservatives and moderates is far from the only obstacle facing Obamacare repeal as the White House pushes to put a legislative win on the scoreboard ahead of the president's 100th day in office.

In addition to possibly dooming Trumpcare for a second time, the flap speaks to the growing power of Congress' faction of Republican moderates.

A U.S. House of Representatives vote to overhaul Obamacare before lawmakers leave Washington for a two-week break looked unlikely late on Tuesday as top White House deputies and key Republican groups said more discussions were needed.

That's the opening sentence of the letter a Texas grassroots coalition has sent to President Donald Trump this week, in the wake of the House health care bill's failure to pass and Trump's criticisms of the House Freedom Caucus, which was opposed to aspects of the legislation.

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Instead of an outright repeal of the Title 1 provisions, the Freedom Caucus agreed to allow states to seek federal waivers to opt out of the Title 1 regulations requiring essential benefit coverage and community rating.

"I don't know that it's gets easier, I don't know if it gets more hard", Meadows said of addressing health care later this month.

The underlying House Republican bill would repeal much of the 2010 law.

Republicans are making one final effort to move forward with their plan to reform the USA healthcare system before Congress goes on a two-week break. Meadows said the tax reform debate boils down to a decision between a controversial "border adjustment tax" plan backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and deficit-funded reforms. Originally, the new White House plan called for eliminating almost all the so-called Title 1 insurance regulations under the ACA.

At a Politico Playbook event this morning, House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) offered to "make news" on the American Health Care Act and ObamaCare repeal. The GOP legislation replacing it would have scaled back the federal role in health care, covering 24 million fewer people over time, while also cutting taxes for upper-income earners.

Ryan repeatedly said before the introduction of the AHCA that the Republicans would repeal and replace Obamacare by the end of March.

High-risk pools, such as the amendment proposes, have always been a staple of conservative health care overhaul plans, allowing insurers to rope off patients with exponentially higher costs from the rest of the population they insure. "So I doubt this would be enough", said Lance. "I don't know that we should be putting an arbitrary timeline on it, because that's the kind of thing that gets you in trouble", Rep. Morgan Griffith said.

Conservatives are also upset that many Obamacare regulations won't be waived, that insurance companies may still be barred from charging higher premiums to sick individuals, and that Republican leaders haven't taken a stand against regulations that cap how much insurance companies can use their revenue for profit.

Other reports by VgToday

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