White House pushes uncertain bid to revive health care bill

Jane Richards
April 21, 2017

President Donald Trump signaled that he'd lost interest in repealing or reforming the Affordable Care Act after the House failure. The more Republicans try to repeal Obamacare or vote on taking away health care from tens of millions, the more popular the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) becomes.

GOP leaders and the White House have been searching for a health care compromise that could placate enough moderates and hard-line conservatives to win passage in the House.

The White House reportedly wants to get a revised version of the American Health Care Act through the House by April 28 to show progress on one of President Donald Trump's biggest promises by his 100th day in office.

"The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House and the answer isn't clear at this time", a senior GOP aide said, referring to the number of votes needed to bypass support from Democrats.

"If they tell us to pound sand, I think that's probably a disappointing indicator of where the next four years is going to go", Mulvaney said.

The deal, brokered between House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), would allow states to get waivers eliminating the so-called community rating provision ― the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions.

Still, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) suggested that Republicans were getting close to a deal.

Trump forces his staff and Republicans in Congress to spend energy trying to construct in the real world the alternate reality that exists in his head, even when their energies would be best directed elsewhere - for example, toward trying to reach an agreement on a bill to prevent the government shutdown that will occur, absent legislation, on April 29.

Trump said he planned to get both a health care deal and a spending bill.

In addition to concerns about those with pre-existing conditions, some moderate Republicans were also upset that the House bill would severely cut back funding for Medicaid, which provides health coverage for many opioid addicts.

Revamping the USA tax code has become a new legislative test for President Donald Trump after a Republican push to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law failed last month in a humiliating defeat for the party.

United States vice president Mike Pence also played a role in shaping that plan, Republicans say. The GOP health-care bill as it stands would instead allow states to spell out essential health benefits.

Republicans argue that the high-risk pools would then cover those people, taking them out of the regular insurance pool and lowering prices for everyone else, but high-risk pools have traditionally been underfunded by states and the federal government, resulting in poor coverage and high costs for those who need insurance the most.

Grow said insurers would back the requirement that people with pre-existing conditions receive coverage and support the establishment of high-risk pools if there is a mechanism in the new health care law that requires people to keep continuous coverage.

The extremely conservative House Freedom Caucus, which successfully scuttled the first failed plan, are working with the Tuesday Group, a slightly less right-wing faction of the House Republican conglomerate.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer was stumped at a recent White House press conference, because he was unable to name a single legislative accomplishment for the Trump administration within its first 100 days. Sure it won Republicans control of the House before the law had taken effect, but since Obamacare was implemented, Republicans were fooling themselves if they believed that there was an appetite for repealing this law anywhere outside of the far right wing of their own party.

Other reports by VgToday

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