GOP health victory may be fleeting as wary Senate awaits

Xavier Trudeau
Mai 19, 2017

Pre-Existing Conditions: The ACA includes a pre-existing condition clause that bars insurance companies from charging people with any pre-existing conditions more.

Listening to the left, you would have thought that Republicans were destroying a health care system that was working well.

"It's time to live or die by this day", GOP leaders told the rank and file at an early morning, closed-door meeting to rally support, said Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla. And the wealthiest 400 Americans - whose average incomes exceed $300 million a year - would get an average tax cut of $7 million a year each.

But many rank-and-file Republicans saw the bill as a lost opportunity for a fight that could have produced victories on the wall and punishing "sanctuary" cities that fail to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Mr. Alexander, whose Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will have a major role in drafting the Senate version, is beginning to lay out his objectives for the eventual measure. But under complicated Senate rules, it also limits what can go into the legislation.

But White House chief of staff Reince Priebus scoffed at the notion that Republicans will lose control of the House in 2018.

The American College of Physicians disagreed with a provision that will allow insurers to opt out of covering essential benefits like mental health care, maternal care and cancer screening. Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is trying to score a special election upset in a traditionally conservative House district, said he trongly opposes "discrimination" over pre-existing conditions in response to the vote. Many others were undecided.

"We urge our USA senators to follow the House's lead and ensure that pro-life protections and the redirection of Planned Parenthood funding remain, because without it - this bill will fail", Mancini said.

Mr. Blunt said Republicans will look to see what they can take from the House version, H.R. 1628, as they write their own measure, but before holding a vote they'll need to see estimates from the Congressional Budget Office for its cost and how it would affect insurance coverage.

The bill would eliminate tax penalties Obama's law which has clamped down on people who don't buy coverage and it erases tax increases in the Affordable Care Act on higher-earning people and the health industry.

The measure would replace Obama's federal subsidies for lower-income insurance buyers with tax credits geared to consumers' ages.

But states could get federal waivers freeing insurers from other Obama coverage requirements.

Congressional Republicans - motivated in great measure by fear of a politically damaging government shutdown - worked closely with minority party Democrats to produce the measure, which made only small changes to most accounts covered by the measure.

There's at least one more option for moving a health-care bill through the Senate: killing the 60-vote filibuster for legislation.

"The House bill is not going to come before us", she said.

"The Bible says to walk humbly", Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) reminded reporters after the bill passed with a close vote, 217 to 213.

They were forced to pull the same bill in March because of a lack of votes, with US House Speaker Paul Ryan admitting that the party was not able to reach consensus on the replacement bill.

That was a jarring setback for Trump and Ryan. Employer-based plans were required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions.

"It is deeply disappointing that the voices of those who will be most severely impacted were not heeded", Bishop Dewane said in a May 4 statement. Fortunately for McConnell only two are in any serious jeopardy, Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona, but they are certain to be particularly cautious about casting their vote for anything that jeopardizes their constituents.

But GOP leaders seemed to win over a raft of wavering lawmakers after adding $8 billion over five years for state high-risk pools, aimed at helping seriously ill people pay expensive premiums.

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