GOP Leaders Mount New Obamacare Repeal Effort

GOP Leaders Mount New Obamacare Repeal Effort

President Donald Trump told reporters at a news conference on Thursday that progress is being made on what he calls a "great plan" for overhauling the nation's health care system.

President Trump said Thursday that he wants a vote on a healthcare bill soon, though he did not definitively call for one next week, saying he wants a vote "next week or shortly thereafter". "I'd like to say next week, but it will be - I believe we will get it".

The White House optimism is driven largely by a deal brokered by leaders of the conservative Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group aimed at giving states more flexibility to pull out of "Obamacare" provisions.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group, are nearing a deal on changes to the bill, and the White House is eager for a victory before President Trump's 100th day in office.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they started to lose more moderates" because of the new changes, the aide added.

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. Democrats have signaled they would not cooperate if it contains money for one of Trump's top priorities, a southwestern border wall meant to combat illegal immigration, or if it ends federal subsidies to help low-income people buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, which Republicans want to repeal.

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"Every time they move the scrimmage line, you risk losing other people who were "Yes" but this changes them to a "No", congressman Dan Donovan said of attempts to win over one end of the party spectrum without losing votes from the other side. The Staten Island centrist said he remained a no vote, partly because the legislation would increase Medicaid costs for New York City's five boroughs.

Senior White House aides and Vice President Mike Pence led talks with House Republicans on Capitol Hill two weeks ago that laid the groundwork for the new proposed amendment.

It measure taking shape would deliver a win to moderates by amending the GOP bill to restore Obama's requirement that insurers cover specified services like maternity care.

The House legislation would dismantle the Obamacare extensive system for expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, cutting almost $1 trillion in federal aid that has allowed states to expand the Medicaid safety net programs and scaling back tax subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income Americans buy commercial health plans. Per the compromise, moderate Republicans would agree to let states opt out of Obamacare's community rating provision, which would permit insurance companies to charge higher premiums to Americans with pre-existing conditions.

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.

"It looks to me like we're headed in the right direction", Dave Brat, a Freedom Caucus member, said.

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Trump told Robert Costa of the Washington Post that he'd be waiting on Democrats to come to him for future health care bills.

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, budget chief Mick Mulvaney said he was surprised at "the toxicity levels" that have divided the GOP over health care and hoped lawmakers' two-week break would prove "healing". Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, and they have been agreeing on a number of issues, Kudlow reported. Thus far, GOP leaders have avoided openly seeking Democratic votes, preferring to craft a plan that can carry the House with purely Republican support.

That was a major embarrassment to Mr Ryan and Mr Trump, and House leaders are loath to bring a revised health care bill on to the floor unless they are convinced it would pass.

"We're in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches", Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said this week while leading a congressional delegation in London.

"It's hard to do. We're very close", he said, adding: "It's just going to take us a little time".

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