Ryan to provide details on 'path forward' for healthcare later this week

US Democrats willing to improve Obamacare Top party lawmaker Chuck Schumer
US Democrats willing to improve Obamacare Top party lawmaker Chuck Schumer

01 April, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chose to pull the American Health Care Act, the GOP's alternative to Obamacare, from a scheduled floor vote after it became clear it did not have the support to pass the House.

House Republicans huddled Tuesday for the first time since having to pull their GOP healthcare plan Friday for a lack of votes. "It is just too important". It was four days ago that Ryan abruptly canceled that vote on the GOP bill annulling much of President Barack Obama's 2010 law.

Republican lawmakers, conservatives and moderates alike, emerged from Tuesday's meeting saying there was a consensus to address the issue again, preferably soon.

Ryan wouldn't elaborate on any details of a new plan or on a timeline.

"You don't go anywhere until this is accomplished".

"To my knowledge, in our committee's entire history, no single individual has ever been targeted in such a manner", said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the committee.

Since most experts believe, contrary to the doomsday arguments of Trump and the Republicans, that Obamacare is sustainable and polling shows that people who get their health insurance through it are mainly satisfied, by putting in place these more incremental reforms, Trump could ultimately emerge as a hero. Now, the White House is keeping its role much lower key than it did during the final push last week and insisting it is letting rank-and-file members of Congress drive discussions on health care, which are ongoing between a small group of House Freedom Caucus members and members of the moderate Tuesday Group. They complained it didn't go far enough in erasing Obama's statute.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted with Democrats and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) voted "present".

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But this week, two key House Republicans called for taking that option off the table, by providing the appropriation that would make the constitutional question moot.

Ryan says Republicans would try working out their differences over the measure. Monday, for instance, he said in a late-night Twitter post that the Freedom Caucus was able to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory".

He added that the next agenda item, tax code reform, should result in a more united party: "If some Republicans oppose lower taxes, that will be stunning".

The GOP holds just 52 seats in the Senate.

"If the Republican Party doesn't unite, ObamaCare stays the way it is", O'Reilly said. He said he didn't expect that to happen until "our Democratic friends have to start answering to the people who are being hurt by the failures of Obamacare". Orrin Hatch already warns Democrats and Republicans haven't seen eye-to-eye on in the past."Democrats, they've never been real enthusiastic about corporate tax reductions", Hatch said.

According to the HuffPost/YouGov survey, just 6 percent of the country was strongly in favor of the health care plan, which Trump failed to usher through Congress. "If he changes, he could have a different presidency", he said. The law banned sex discrimination in health care settings that have a connection to federal funds.

Short pointed to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, whose nomination will be on the Senate floor next week, as well as a looming funding deadline on April 28 that must be met to keep the lights on in the government. Generating an estimated $1 trillion, the measure would impose a 20 percent tax on some imports while supposedly reducing the trade deficit and encouraging companies to produce goods in the United States.

Congress is fast approaching a deadline to pass government-wide spending legislation or face a shutdown.

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