Future of revamped health care bill remains dubious in House

Toby Manning
April 21, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

The amendment, which presumably came about through ongoing discussions between House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Chair Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and MacArthur, a co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group, is similar to a concept Vice President Mike Pence proposed three weeks ago.

So basically they're hoping to con people out of noticing that Essential Health Benefits and pre-existing protections will be gone (at least in many states) until it's too late.

"States must attest that the objective of their requested waiver is to reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions", the plan says. Republicans are trying to say their amendment will cover people with pre-existing conditions ― because, first, the legislation still claims those people can't be denied coverage, and second, because there will be high-risk pools for those people if insurance costs dramatically go up for them.

But because of the conservatives, they won't provide the funding experts say is necessary to really make those high-risk pools work.

The amendment may also appeal to conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus because it would give states a way to opt out of some insurance regulations.

It's unclear what states would even seek to opt out, particularly as the Trump administration has already offered "innovation waivers" to help states pursue health care alternatives to the ACA. So, what's changed? Well, according to the Huffington Post, conservative and moderate Republicans have struck a tentative agreement that could appease both wings of the party. That's because the American Health Care Act was killed in part because it rolled back Medicaid coverage for millions of low-income people, something moderate Republicans opposed.

So the plan is gavel the House back into session on Tuesday and then vote on the bill on Wednesday. Like what you're reading?

The Trump White House and congressional Republicans were at odds Thursday over whether to try for another vote on replacing Obamacare next week, indicating that neither side had a clear strategy for moving on one of the president's central campaign promises.

"I don't think there are any credible sources you can rely on for dictating the road forward", Gurda said. "I happen to like and respect [HHS Secretary] Tom Price immensely, but that doesn't mean the next person will share that same approbation from me".

The Trump administration is gearing up for a fight to secure money for a border wall, more immigration enforcement officers and a bigger military, according to a Politico report citing White House and congressional officials. House Republicans are set to hold a conference call on Saturday to discuss the issue.

During a White House news conference, U.S. president Donald Trump said progress was being made on a "great plan" for overhauling the nation's health care system, but provided no details.

Ryan recently said negotiators were putting the "finishing touches" on an effort to bridge the gap between archconservatives who want to tear down the Affordable Care Act's rules on insurers and centrists who've pledged to defend popular protections in the program.

Other reports by VgToday

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