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Trump heads to Capitol to press Congress on healthcare bill

21 March, 2017, 14:59 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
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When asked about the prospects that the House can pass the bill on Thursday, Ryan said he feels "very good about it". But senior Republicans are now preparing to include language that would explicitly prevent states from expanding the program before that time - a concession to conservative lawmakers. GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, who represents a district outside Philadelphia, posted on his Facebook page that he couldn't vote for the bill.

The GOP leadership's most urgent priority: Make sure they have the votes, changing the bill if necessary.

But House Republicans want to eliminate that feature of the law, and the GOP bill would allow a five-to-one ratio as part of an attempt to attract more of the younger, healthier customers whom insurers want.

It's not just moderates who are still wavering.

"We believe we should have even more assistance, and that's one of the things we're looking at, for that person in the 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs", Ryan said. Trump's plan, for instance, would cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health, an 18 percent drop for the $32 billion agency that funds much of the nation's research into what causes different diseases and what it will take to treat them. Once the Congressional Budget Office report made it clear this group's premiums could increase, the message to leaders was clear: That needed to be fixed before the House vote.

The suggestions which appear to have been taken on board by Ryan are reportedly favoured by Conservative Republicans concerned about the bill, but it remains to be seen if these additions will be enough to swing their votes. Here is the central prize: "If we lower premiums, and hopefully lower them a lot, that is a victory for the American people". They need to shore up support from moderate Republicans who fear the bill dismantling President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act will hurt millions of Americans enrolled in the program.

"Based on what I've been told is in the manager's amendment, and what I've been told tonight, I don't know that it moves anybody or makes a compelling case from where their previous positions were", Rep. Mark Meadows, R. - N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told the paper.

"The bill at the end of the day coming out of the Rules Committee will have a positive score to it", the Texas Republican said. Bill changes have been offered to address some of those concerns. A White House meeting with senators Monday also left conservatives unhappy.

Top House Republicans were working on eleventh-hour changes created to get them the 216 votes needed for passage.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-plus Republicans that frequently spars with leadership, remains the most visible impediment to the bill in the lower chamber.

"We believe we should have even more assistance". "My prediction is they don't have the votes".

"If it needs more beefing up. for folks who are low income, between 50 and 64 years of age, that's something that we've talked about, something that we've entertained, and that may happen throughout the process", he said. "If they don't have the votes, conservatives will have earned a seat at the table".

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