Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Snyder: Health care overhaul plan falls short

Trevor Noah took a trip down memory lane with his audience last week, rehashing old clips of a young Rep. Paul Ryan promising the country that he and the Republican Party had a better plan than Obamacare.

Just as the party's conservatives began expressing optimism about the proposal's fortunes, Republican moderates raised concerns that tax credits now in the bill meant to help people buy health insurance are not sufficient.

In what seemed like conflicting signals, Price said Friday that President Donald Trump "is very supportive" of the legislation, even though Trump himself has recently called the existing bill "very preliminary".

Thursday is also the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law. That's because 216 backers will be needed for passage if all 430 now sitting House members show up and vote on the bill.

Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz attended a rally Wednesday at the Capitol and railed against the Paul Ryan-led House bill. Only two Republican senators can defect from the bill without affecting its chances in the Senate. "But they also show that President Trump is all-in now", a help in winning converts. Other Republican governors have raised concerns about the health care effort, particularly on Medicaid.

Republicans are on the fence when it comes to Medicaid. I want people to know that ObamaCare is dead. It was agreed then to allow this in the states that wanted it and places like OH actually benefited.

Potential changes include provisions freezing the Medicaid expansion under the 2010 health law; moderates worry about constituents losing coverage. Trump did not want to alarm those in favor of the original bill, as he claimed...

"Given how narrowly we've threaded this needle", said Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, "any abrupt change would probably be - could be a deal killer".

GOP support became scarcer when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found this week that the legislation would push 24 million Americans off coverage in a decade and shift out-of-pocket costs toward lower income, older people. Obamacare expanded its eligibility and increased funding for it, which enabled about 10 million previously uninsured Americans to obtain medical insurance.

The CBO analysis reportedly shook members of Congress, as many were already on the fence regarding the American Health Care Act before the CBO did any sort of analysis.

The panel voted to urge Republican leaders to allow House floor amendments tightening Medicaid spending more than the bill does.

President Donald Trump insists that he is behind the bill, but some of his backers are encouraging him to abandon it, too.

Among those accepting the agreement was Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., leader of the Republican Study Committee, a large group of House conservatives. The legislation also faces a hard path in the Senate. Medicaid covers more than 70 million people, and its future is expected to be a central issue in the Senate.

"We feel like we're making great strides and great progress on getting a bill that can pass", Ryan said.

Cotton's opposition, which he's broadcast in multiple TV and radio interviews and over Twitter, has raised eyebrows in the Capitol where a number of GOP senators have misgivings about the bill, but many are more restrained in expressing them.

"Remember this. If we didn't do it the way we're doing it, we need 60 votes, so we'd have to get the Democrats involved".

Ryan's original plan for the AHCA was to bring it for a full House vote next week, a promise he backed away from at a press conference on Wednesday.

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