Republicans concede healthcare bill must change in order to pass
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Mar 18, 2017,
Mar 18, 2017, 0:57
"And now every single one is a yes" on the American Health Care Act, Trump said after a meeting with a dozen members of the Republican Study Committee, which has gone on record saying they want important changes to the legislation.
Their healthcare overhaul imperiled from all sides, the White House and top House Republicans acknowledged on Wednesday that they would make changes to the legislation in hopes of nailing down votes needed to pass the the party's showpiece legislation soon.
Conservatives want deeper cuts in the overall Medicaid program than the Republican bill plans and a work requirement for able-bodied constituents.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump is deeply involved in efforts to scrap Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and helping GOP leaders persuade reluctant lawmakers.
"The House has put forward a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare based on the principles I outlined in my joint address, but let me tell you, we're going to arbitrate, we're going to all get together and we're going to get something done", he said.
Public posturing by conservatives and moderates in Ryan's party is leaving little middle ground for compromise, and it's unclear whether modest revisions will be enough to secure passage of the measure.
"It's very preliminary", the president said of the House GOP bill in a Fox News Channel interview Wednesday, when questioned about reports the legislation helps Democratic voters more than those who elected him. "I wish we were sending the Senate a comprehensive reform that completely repeals Obamacare and completely replaces it with a healthy, vibrant, competitive and consumer-driven market".
Some Republican governors are telling their party's congressional leaders that the House GOP health care bill doesn't work for their states.
Many conservatives say what is on paper now smacks too much of Obamacare itself, and doesn't do enough to cut Medicaid and other costs.
Obamacare expanded insurance to about 20 million Americans but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under the Republican plan.
Right now the credits begin phasing out for people earning $75,000.
Asked on Hugh Hewitt's radio show about Cotton's opposition, Ryan replied, "I love this, because we've gotten criticized by other folks in the conservative movement for waiting too long".
House Republicans from swing districts aren't interested in taking a risky vote on legislation that may be dead on arrival in the Senate.
Three conservative GOP lawmakers voted against the measure. 'Obamacare is dead. And unless we gave it massive subsidies in a year from now or six months from now, it's not even going to be here.
The RSC has been pushing to begin the Medicaid expansion freeze in 2018, rather than 2020 as proposed in the bill, and adding a work requirement to the tax credits proposed for helping low-income individuals purchase insurance. Gone was the federal government's oppressive mandate requiring all Americans who do not have health coverage to pay a stiff penalty.
The 2017 government sign-up numbers missed Obama's target of 13.8 million people.
"Now that we have our score. we can make some necessary improvements and refinements to the bill", he said, referring to the CBO's estimate of the effect on the number of those covered by health insurance and what the GOP proposal would cost. The rally was organized by FreedomWorks, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.