President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress lurched between repealing Obamacare or rewriting the USA tax code as their top priority, with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday dampening White House hopes for a quick vote on healthcare legislation.
On Monday evening, Pence met with members of the conservative Freedom Caucus in an effort to gauge support for any potential changes.
The essential health benefits provision requires all insurers to cover 10 services, including maternity care, substance abuse treatment and prescription drugs, in all plans sold on the individual market. In effect, this would eliminate the guarantees for pre-existing conditions, although Meadows said that the provision would retain intact.
Vice President Mike Pence and two top White House officials made the offer Monday night in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus, participants said.
It’s not clear if moderates will sign on to such a compromise.
Two attendees of the White House session said afterward that they were optimistic, but not certain, that an intra-GOP accord could be reached.
Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the moderate House Tuesday Group, was among moderate lawmakers who met with officials at the White House earlier Monday, a GOP aide said. Instead, insurers can only vary their prices based on age, geographical area and tobacco use, allowing the premiums paid by the healthy to subsidize the sick.
The Freedom Caucus chairman added that the group also discussed another amendment on risk-sharing pools for the states that conservatives argue would help high-risk consumers cover costs.
Ryan, referring to that division on Tuesday, said, “It’s important that we just don’t win the votes of one caucus, or one group, but that we get the votes and the consensus of 216 of our members”. The Post reports that Representative Chris Collins, another member of the Tuesday Group, was not sold on getting rid of the “community ratings” provision, though he suggested that he would be open to states deciding the issue for themselves, especially since NY already mandates it.
The latest proposals would mean that Trump is reneging on a promise to uphold one of the law’s most popular provisions: that insurers can not discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.
The second major provision that the House Freedom Caucus and Donald Trump want to put in there is to allow states to get rid of what’s called community rating.
“In a world where Obamacare is not going to be repealed and replaced, do you work to try to make it succeed, or do you take steps to undermine it in order to continue blaming President Obama and the Democrats for the dysfunction of the health care system?” asked Nicholas Bagley, a University of MI law professor who’s analyzed the administration’s leeway to make changes.
As with the last effort to repeal the, only 21 defections by House Republicans would be necessary to scuttle the bill – potentially handing Trump another embarrassing defeat. “If you were to think of us more as an intellectual conservative think tank with a backbone, that’s what we are”, Brooks told reporters. Verma also said she wants to improve health, not just treat disease. It would do the same for other metal level plans as well, allowing bronze plans with actuarial values as low as 56 percent instead of the 60 percent standard, gold plans at 76 rather than 80, and platinum plans at 86 rather than 90.
Vice President Mike Pence and Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney have been briefing members, who said they would reserve taking positions until they saw legislative language. Immediately invite Chuck Schumer to the White House and tell him, “Chuck, you’re not leaving this building until we agree on an infrastructure package”. The participant spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private strategy session. Rand Paul and several freshmen congressmen – are still looking for a deal.
Now that the initial health care bill has gone down, there’s loose talk from the White House of wooing Democrats, but a lot has transpired the past few months that makes this much harder. But the first big legislative item Trump pursued was to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“If leadership hasn’t learned the lessons of the failures of two weeks ago, then they’ll bring something forward where nobody knows about it and try and get it passed”, Renacci said. “And that’s just where we are right now”. If the GOP thought that the backlash from the AHCA was bad, they haven’t seen anything yet.