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

The GOP's health care bill is facing a fresh House committee test

The GOP's health care bill is facing a fresh House committee test

Days before a pivotal vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he will seek changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people.

Amid the maneuvering, a government report said more than 12 million people have signed up for coverage this year under the very statute that Republicans want to repeal.

Last Friday, the White House won support from conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) leaders by agreeing to give states the option to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients and to block grant Medicaid instead of the cap system in the bill. But he declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a schedule Republican leaders have repeatedly said they meant to keep. However, the orientation of his health care proposal is a far cry from Jesus, who proclaimed, "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matt. 25.40). And if so, does that mean that you now have the votes to pass it?

Republicans - including President Trump and Vice President Mike PenceMike (Michael) Richard PenceRepublicans pitch healthcare plan ahead of key vote Pence ally part owner of conservative news outlet: report Merkel's visit could salvage some sort of US-EU trade deal MORE - have been making pitches for the GOP's healthcare plan. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., among those who met with Trump, said the president "told his people" to work on changes making the measure more generous for lower-earning and older Americans. Even as conservatives ramp up their opposition to the bill for being too similar to the current Affordable Care Act, moderate Republicans are threatening to peel away from their party's proposal because it could hurt too many of their constituents.

"We think that we should be offering even more assistance than what the bill now does", he said. "The American Health Care Act needs to pass the House of Representatives so the American people can be rescued from Obamacare".

"The president is bringing people to his table, and I am very impressed with how the president is helping us close this bill".

Paul added that the House GOP plan doesn't "fix the fundamental problem of Obamacare", which he said are the mandates on insurance companies.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also said legislative revisions were possible.

While proponents say the GOP plan would eventually provide Americans with access to less expensive, more patient and doctor-centric coverage, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that 24 million people would lose voluntarily decline coverage under that approach by 2026 and that the replacement coverage would be more expensive in the short run - especially for older and low-income people. He joins GOP Rep. John Katko, from a closely divided district in upstate NY, who cited inadequate insurance access and cost controls. If the changes are significant enough to make inroads with one faction, they may well be significant enough to enable the other faction to pick up new defectors. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CBS' "Face the Nation".

Like this: