Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

After CBO Score, Republican leaders show no signs of shifting course

After CBO Score, Republican leaders show no signs of shifting course

House Speaker Paul Ryan is aiming for a full House vote later next week on the legislation.

If the subsidies are cut, more people will go without insurance and the demand for health services will slow. That group of House members includes some who'd been lukewarm about the bill going into the meeting. GOP divisions also threaten the legislation in that chamber.

The changes fulfill some requests of more conservative Republicans, but would be optional for states, so as not to alienate moderate members.

By many accounts, Trump has been closely involved in negotiations on the bill, including calling committee members ahead of Thursday's vote, but he is seen as focused on delivering his "repeal and replace" promise and flexible on the fine print.

Failing to pass a bill while his party controls both the House and Senate would be a devastating blow to his party and the premise of his presidency - that he was a dealmaker the country needed.

"ObamaCare is imploding. It is a disaster and 2017 will be the worst year yet, by far!" he tweeted. Some would choose not to have insurance because the bill ends the mandate that people buy insurance or pay a penalty.

"Obamacare" is the nickname for the Affordable Care Act that Trump and congressional Republicans are trying to repeal and replace.

On Sunday, his aides took pains to explain that a CBO finding of fewer people covered would not necessarily mean that fewer people will be covered.

Trump, after a meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee, said he wanted "everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind" the GOP plan.

More Republicans on the panel have voiced some concerns about the bill, and acknowledged that it is not comprehensive under the restrictions of the budget reconciliation process that Republicans are attempting to use in the Senate to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told House Republicans that one of the changes being considered is allowing states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients, an adjustment that could win over some conservatives, The Hill reported. People on Medicaid wouldn't be forced off, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn added on "Fox News Sunday". In actuality, tax credits in Republican legislation being debated in the House may not be as generous to older people as what is in the current law.

"We are offering coverage to everyone", he said.

Some are also defending the changes by arguing that older Americans tend to be better able to pay higher premiums than their grandchildren, so it makes sense for older people to pay higher rates given that they tend be less healthy and thus more costly to insurers.

At the White House, officials continued to de-legitimize the report. They expressed hope that Trump is honest in expressing a willingness to negotiate changes, criticizing Ryan for his "take it or leave it" stance.

"I like the fact that we need to push the pause button and reset it and say look, let's come together on something that will actually work and is sustainable".

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