Moderates balk at conservative-backed, revised health bill

The struggle over both bills was embarrassing to the GOP, which has Trump in the White House and majorities in Congress.

Moderate Republicans are not embracing the latest Republican amendment to the party’s GOP health care overhaul. In exchange, states would have to provide high-risk pools that fund coverage for those people, and insurers would be able to charge them more.

While the House Freedom Caucus approved the amendment, some of the moderates who MacArthur represents were not as happy.

Republican leaders have not scheduled a vote on the bill.

Two days before hitting the 100-day mark of his presidency, Donald Trump acknowledged that the role of leader of the free world is tougher than he anticipated, telling Reuters in a revealing interview that the presidency is “more work” than his previous job. Insurers could charge higher premiums only to certain people, those who have had a break in coverage. Waiving essential benefits could make more low-premium plans generally available, but insurance could be less comprehensive for people with complex medical conditions. “There is no removal of the mandate about coverage for preexisting conditions and coverage”.

Both Dent and Reed also said some members of the moderate group were frustrated that MacArthur’s work on the amendment seemed to be advertised as coming from the Tuesday Group as a whole, rather than MacArthur individually. Any changes aimed at garnering support of conservative House Freedom Caucus members could deter moderates from the bill.

“Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal”, a statement from the group read.

In short, the amendment gives states some flexibility that may help reduce insurance premiums, but only if states do as Washington says. Republicans were readying to pass the week-long funding bill on their own after Democrats, who tend to back these short-term bills, threatened to oppose it if Republicans moved a fresh Obamacare repeal bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders have revised their original, failed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and are now bent on winning over conservative Republican support for the new measure. “That’s not my intention, but legislation can be a messy process, as we’re seeing”, MacArthur said. But Ryan told reporters that “we’re not doing that”. The congressman points out that, in many states, the number of insurers offering coverage is dwindling.

And moderate Republicans are expressing concern about the changes that they say could increase costs and limit coverage options for those who are sicker.

The White House isn’t taking no for an answer: Rep. Brooks said he’s spoken with Vice President Mike Pence twice over the phone today, and during one of their conversations, handed the phone to President Trump. Or, like Faso, they are on the fence, leaving Republicans still without enough votes to win approval by the House.

Fellow Tuesday Group member Chris Collins of NY, a supporter of President Donald Trump and the Obamacare repeal effort, acknowledged that MacArthur’s amendment likely angered some moderates.

“We often think of this as a medical issue, and I think that’s the appropriate way to think of it in the context of Medicaid”, Saloner said when I asked him about this matter. “If you violate your promise, if you commit the sin of hypocrisy in politics, that’s the greater risk for a person’s seat”. “Let’s get it done”. Experts warn that the MacArthur amendment could allow insurers to charger those consumers more. Sixty-one percent said Obama’s law should be retained and fixed, with just 37 percent favoring repeal. Nevertheless, he said, “We understand the optics, and we’re working on that to make sure that it gets fixed”.

Odds of passage of the new bill are low, and even if it passes the House, many Senate Republicans have seen how poorly the bill polls and are unwilling to stick out their necks for an unpopular Trump.

But the aide added a note of caution, noting that “final determinations” can’t be made until any new bill receives a score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Democrats have a chance make their case to the Senate parliamentarian.

Rep. Travis Cummings