White House officials offer change to health care bill

by Noah Mcgee April 5, 2017, 1:56

On Monday night, Pence pitched an offer to the Freedom Caucus to try to bring its members on board: A new bill would grant states the power to choose to apply for waivers to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives have argued are driving up premiums. Freedom Caucus members and their allies refused to support the bill because it was not enough of a departure from the Affordable Care Act for them; "Coverage Caucus" Republicans opposed it because, in effect, it was too much of a departure from Obamacare.

Rep. Mo BrooksMo BrooksCentrists push back on new ObamaCare repeal plan Support House Resolution 37: Eliminate the USA trade deficit Paul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender MORE (R-Ala.), a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he was assured that the Trump administration would be "very receptive" to granting states waivers from the regulations.

It is not clear how a new health care bill will come together, with deep divides among Republicans and little interest in cooperation from Democrats.

After their humiliating loss on health care, Republicans in Congress could use a quick victory on a big issue.

"We're at the concept stage right now", said House Speaker Paul Ryan. He pitched a populist infrastructure bill, tax reform and a border wall - all of which have been held up by a push for a health-care bill more closely associated with long-standing Washington Republican dogma and that critics say fails to address Trump's promise of making health care less expensive and more widely accessible.

Ryan repeated what he said last week, that 90 percent of Republicans are "already there", but 10 percent are not.

In the final hours before the GOP bill collapsed last month, the Freedom Caucus convinced Republican leaders to weaken Obamacare's essential health benefits' measure, leaving it to the states to determine what services should be covered. "And now we're having the kinds of productive conversations among our members, interacting through the committees of jurisdiction and with the administration".

Meadows also said on Monday that states may be able to exempt insurers from ACA requirements that they cover things like mental health care, substance abuse treatment, maternity, and even prescription drugs.

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The post Freedom Caucus, White House dispute not dissipating appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Trump has repeatedly attacked conservatives for opting not to back the American Health Care Act, threatening to support primaries against those who didn't get behind the bill.

"They're discussing a variety of topics, including healthcare", said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.

The White House offer would also let states seek an exemption to the law's requirement that insurers must offer coverage to people with serious diseases. Trump said Thursday. In follow-up tweets, the president singled out three Freedom Caucus members — Reps.

"I think there's a lot of frustration all around town", said Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, which backed Freedom Caucus members in opposing the AHCA.

One Senior House GOP aide said to expect "a number of additional meetings" with various groups and members, but cautioned that the latest round of meetings still doesn't mean leadership plans to move ahead with a vote soon. If you go to Heritage and look at their score, I think he's at about a 53 right now.

Also that day, The Post and Courier newspaper in SC reported that Trump dared Sanford to vote against the overhaul bill.

"For every adjustment you make one way, it has an equal and opposite reaction the other way", he said. Ryan, in a news conference Tuesday morning, said "it's all about getting premiums down".

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