Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Paul Ryan plans fundraiser at The Chicago Club

Paul Ryan plans fundraiser at The Chicago Club

Politically speaking, one of the most glaring problems with the American Health Care Act, the Republican Party's proposed Obamacare replacement bill, is that its Medicare cuts and changes to insurance regulations would hammer older, rural, working-class Americans-a.k.a. the group that you might call Donald Trump's "base".

"I can not vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising", Cruz said, echoing the concerns of other hard-line lawmakers who want the legislation to undo more of the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandates.

"The president has been a great closer on this", Ryan said.

"We feel like we're on track and we're right where we want to be", Ryan said on Fox News Sunday. Citing lawmakers' town hall meetings that have been jammed with activists opposing the GOP bill, he said, "This bill is not what the American people want". For lower-income people age 50 to 64, Ryan said of the tax credits, "We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill now does".

A Congressional Budget Office analysis last week said a 64-year-old with income of $26,500 would pay $1,700 out of pocket for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, compared with $14,600 under the GOP plan.

Now it appears that the House will take up a series of amendments to the original plan when the bill hits the floor this week, probably on Thursday.

Even Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged on Wednesday that the bill won't make it out of the House without significant changes.

Cotton is warning House Republicans against voting for the bill, cautioning that it could die in the Senate and cause political pain for all its supporters, and threatening to withhold his own vote unless it becomes more to his liking. "We're still having conversations with our members, we're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements". He boasted that earlier in the day he had persuaded a dozen conservative House members to back the bill and that it is "going to be passed".

Meanwhile, a key conservative senator said White House officials were continuing to negotiate through the weekend on even more dramatic revisions to the bill in hopes of winning over hard-liners who have threatened to tank the legislation.

If Ryan's plan can't get through that committee, it's dead.

Reported compromises said to have been discussed include allowing states to mandate that Medicaid recipients perform work in exchange for their benefits as well as a plan to rewrite the refundable tax credit provision so as to provide more lucrative benefits for seniors. Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had seen no information to support the claim. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would work with Republicans to reform Obamacare, but she derided the GOP's proposal.

Instead, he pushed for a clean repeal of ObamaCare.

"What they're saying is that this isn't freedom, this isn't people voluntarily deciding not to have health insurance", Wallace remarked. We're now going to go to the rules committee.

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