Ryan: More help for older people needed in GOP health bill

Claudine Rigal
Mars 20, 2017

But giving more ground to conservatives risks a hemorrhaging of support from House Republican moderates, who are already uncomfortable with and have said they can not support the legislation in its current form.

Even after the recent amendments, one leading House conservative said the alterations were insufficient and claimed enough allies to sink the measure, and support among moderates remained uncertain. Congressional Democrats are considered almost universal in opposition to scuttling Obamacare.

Another Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss the House bill candidly said, "There are no good options".

"The Speaker said this a minute ago, he didn't say the specifics of it, but he said that some tweaks will be made to the tax credits and probably that's the older - old geezers like me that are 55 and up", Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said while leaving a House Republican Conference meeting Friday morning. "If the bill were brought to the floor today, it would fail to get enough votes".

On Sunday, Ryan said he believed the CBO analysis was not accurate because Obamacare wouldn't be able to last 10 years.

"You'll have some of that effect as long as there is not a mandate", Conaway said.

Conaway declined to speculate on how many people in his own district might find themselves uninsured if the Affordable Care Act, one of the signature achievements by former President Barack Obama, is undone. To the many Americans who barely make a living wage, a health insurance tax deduction is a cruel joke. Is he even aware that the bill does that?

Other GOP senators - including Texas' Ted Cruz along with Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah - have expressed heartburn over the replacement plan.

Exit question: Trump's strategy here seems to be to make the bill more conservative in the House, which should make it easier to pass there, and then let "negotiations" in the Senate push it back in the direction of populism.

The White House, too, has admitted that the House bill would have trouble in the Senate.

Price advocated the legislative proposal to phase out the Medicaid expansion provided under Obamacare and overhaul the program as spending on it decreases. "We are making sure that we get all the language right".

Ryan also said Republicans are working on changes that would allow federal block grants to states for Medicaid.

"I think it is Trumpcare".

Ryan said on "Fox News Sunday" that he feels "very good" about the bill's prospects.

Republicans remain deeply divided over their US healthcare overhaul, which is President Donald Trump's first major legislative initiative and aims to fulfill his campaign pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, the healthcare program of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

At the same time Ryan acknowledged that some changes in the bill are being proposed based on the feedback received. So does Club for Growth, an influential conservative group, which sent out a news release Thursday thanking the three House conservatives who voted against "RyanCare" in the House Budget Committee.

He repeatedly lauded President Trump's effort to garner support among congressional Republicans.

"There is no intrigue, palace intrigue, divisions between the principals. there really is no schism whatsoever", Ryan insisted. "Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes", the president said as he met with members of the Republican Study Committee, most of whom already supported the bill.

Other reports by CampDesrEcrues

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