Is the new health-care law what anyone really wants?

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price joined by from left Rep. Cathy Mc Morris Rodgers R-Wash. chair of the Republican Conference Rep. Phil Roe R-Tenn. and Rep. Pat Tiberi R-Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washingt
Is the new health-care law what anyone really wants?
Author

20 March, 2017

John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters Tuesday.

"While this legislation is far from flawless and not the Obamacare replacement plan I had hoped to support, it is a substantial improvement from the mandates, burdens and failures of Obamacare".

By making every American eligible for Medicare or a similar public option, he could fulfill his promise of "insurance for everyone" and probably end up with a system that fulfills his other promise to create a "far less expensive and far better" healthcare system.

"Remember this. If we didn't do it the way we're doing it, we need 60 votes, so we'd have to get the Democrats involved".

The hope - described as a "pretty hard target" by Rep. Bradley Byrne - is for the AHCA to go to a final House vote on Thursday. "And then we get on to tax reduction, which I like".

Republicans remain deeply divided over their us healthcare overhaul, Trump's first major legislative initiative and one that aims to make good on his campaign pledge to repeal and replace the healthcare plan put in place by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price attacked the CBO (even though he helped pick its director, Keith Hall), the speaker embraced it, Senate Republicans used it to call for changing course, and President Trump himself has largely stayed quiet.

"I want everyone to know, I'm 100 percent behind this", Trump said after the meeting. That figure underscored the potential political impact of the party's next move.

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Earlier in the day, Pence told House conservatives that the administration was open to changes.

He can't afford to lose more than 20 votes, and more than a dozen conservatives and moderates have said they can't support the bill as is.

Some conservatives also want to see the Medicaid expansion ended after 2017, not 2020 as required in the bill.

It would offer significant tax relief to wealthier taxpayers, with corresponding refundable tax credits for lower income people. That included a projection that the bill would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over 10 years, mostly because of those big cuts to Medicaid.

"It provides nearly no new flexibility for states, does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out, and shifts significant new costs to the state", the letter says. Yet it's heading for a collision with the internal politics of Republicans in the House and Senate, where conservatives have been pushing to wind down the Medicaid expansion as soon as next year. That left House moderates angry over being asked to take a politically risky vote for legislation that seems likely to be significantly altered.

While senators criticized the CBO ― Blunt said its analysts are "notoriously bad at anticipating what's going to happen in a marketplace" ― they were happy to hype CBO findings they liked.

The bill would enfeeble Obama's individual mandate, the requirement that Americans buy coverage, by abolishing the tax fine on violators. It would cut Medicaid, repeal the law's tax increases on higher earning Americans and require 30 percent higher premiums for consumers who let coverage lapse. The American Psychological Association asserted that Congress should enact no reform legislation unless it ensures health insurance coverage-including mental health and substance use treatment-for at least as many people as are covered now.


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