Published: Wed, March 29, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

The health care war is far from over

The health care war is far from over

The lessons of last week may force the White House and Republicans to go for a less ambitious reform package. "It was, 'You have to do it here, now.' When you do that you sound exactly like Nancy Pelosi".

"We need to stay here on the weekend and have an all-day conference", Weber said, noting that the one-hour weekly meetings weren't enough time to work through the sticking points.

On Friday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the AHCA from consideration on the house floor, delaying the vote on the bill indefinitely after House Republicans were unable to find consensus on the measure.

"Obviously we're going to have to do something because our health care system is like Thelma and Louise", says Sen.

During the Obama administration, members drummed up so much resistance to Mr Boehner's approach to budget cuts and legislation that the speaker chose to resign rather than face a bitter intra-party battle. DesJarlais is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a 30-something member group of hard-line conservatives whose opposition to the health care bill helped defeat it.

"I don't really believe anyone is going to quit", said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., "I think we'll do it until we get it done". In the meantime, health insurers must decide where they'll offer coverage as well as their rates for next year by June. How do I know that? "I guess it depends on what's happening in their caucus".

DAVIS: And there was a hope at the start of this Congress that those same hard line conservatives who had bucked leadership in the past would be team players now that they had a Republican the White House.

"Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!" he tweeted Sunday morning. While much of the finger-pointing has been at the purists in the Freedom Caucus who just want repeal and nothing else, Friday's non-vote on Trumpcare showed that they've got just as serious a problem with the moderates.

Setting aside for a moment questions about whether the American Health Care Act is a bill worthy of support (it isn't) and whether it would improve health care in this country (it wouldn't), one of the most stunning aspects of the political wrangling is the poor performance of President Donald Trump in support of the legislation. "I'm not saying we've picked a strategy and we're going to go with this group or that group". "You want our votes?" We'll sit down together and write a bill. "And it depends on how many they need".

How might Democrats try to use that leverage?

While some House Republicans remain focused on "repeal and replace", a new conversation in Congress is starting on a different "R" word when it comes to Obamacare: fix. It didn't mean you understood it, beyond maybe getting that it was a government program and thus paid for by taxes. The federal government's ability to reimburse insurers through cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, payments has been tied up in litigation following a lawsuit-filed by House Republicans-arguing that the money for these reimbursements wasn't explicitly appropriated.

If the GOP is going to be a governing party, and not just the raucous opposition, it has an opportunity and a duty to fix the flaws in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. "They never came up with ... votes on their own".

Like a number of other more moderate-leaning Republicans, Costello said he would have voted "no" on the bill in the end, partly because it kept moving to the right as House leaders and the White House made concessions to the Freedom Caucus without ever succeeding in locking in their support.

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