GOP health bill amendment to revive Obamacare repeal effort

Frederick Owens
April 21, 2017

"We're still working on it".

According to a draft of the amendment obtained by Politico, the plan allows states to apply for "limited waivers" to opt out of Obamacare insurance mandates-a change created to address conservatives' concerns with the legislation. The law required, as of 2014, that all health care insurance providers cover everyone regardless of their existing conditions. With special permission from the federal government, states could write their own essential health benefits and allow insurers to charge those with preexisting conditions higher premiums, as long as they also make a high-risk pool available to those patients. That's because the American Health Care Act was killed in part because it rolled back Medicaid coverage for millions of low-income people, something moderate Republicans opposed.

Murmurs Thursday morning of a compromise bill between the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group - the far-right and centrist House Republican Groups, respectively - were tempered a few hours later.

Both factions revolted against leadership's original health care bill, called the American Health Care Act, but for differing reasons.

"As deadlines approach for insurers to file their plans for next year's ACA marketplaces, companies say they can not set rates amid the ongoing uncertainty around the CSR payments", Height wrote in a note to clients.

The proposed amendment comes from moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who has led talks on tweaking the health care bill with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows.

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The prospect of the government shutting down around the 100-day milestone is not lost on White House and congressional officials. "I prefer that you give us time to read it".

The proposal aims to increase the approval by Freedom Caucus members and moderate members of Congress. [States] are going to be reliant on whoever that is, even under a Republican regime.

The new proposal, which was reported by Politico and The Huffington Post, is an amendment to that bill.

Donald Trump has no substantive legislative accomplishments to show for the first 100 days of his presidency, so Republicans in Congress are trying to resuscitate their attempt to repeal Obamacare and deliver some kind of win to Trump.

"I know that our team has continued to work with members of the House in particular to see if there's a way forward", Spicer said. "We have a good chance of getting it soon, I'd like to say next week, but it will be - I believe we will get it, and whether it's next week or shortly thereafter".

But, there also the very real possibility that we are looking at deja vu all over again for House Republicans and the Trump White House.

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