Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

GOP Health Bill Advances Despite Conservative Objections

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-Texas opposes the Republican health care bill during work by the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017 GOP Health Bill Advances Despite Conservative Objections
Howard Terry | 20 March, 2017, 00:26

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price acknowledged that passing the White House backed health care bill through both houses of Congress is going to be tricky, but said he is confident that the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will move forward.

"We do believe we need to add some additional assistance to people in those older cohorts", Ryan told Fox News's Chris Wallace on Sunday morning.

But the GOP healthcare plan has faced strong resistance from conservative lawmakers, some of whom have dubbed the proposal "ObamaCare lite". But it wasn't clear until Sunday that the change would take the form of more financial assistance for seniors - rather than, say, moving the bill in an even more conservative direction, as some House Republicans have demanded.

Ryan said that proposed changes to the health-care system that would occur outside of the bill also would lower payments.

The plan has been flatly rejected by Democrats, while moderate Republicans fear it doesn't do enough to help vulnerable populations, while conservatives argue it doesn't go far enough to undo government intrusion into healthcare.

Even as Ryan said he felt "very good" about the health bill's prospects in the House, a leading conservative lawmaker told the C-Span "Newsmakers" program that there were now 40 Republican "no" votes in the House.

"And the reason I feel so good about this is the president has become a great closer". "We have conservative groups, other groups, everybody wants certain things". "We're still having conversations with our members, we're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements".

"We're not going to make people buy something that's so expensive that they can't afford, that the market is not going to offer", the Speaker insisted.

However, three conservative Republican senators - Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas - all insisted today that the House GOP plan is hopelessly flawed and will not pass through Congress as now drafted.

"It's exactly where we want to be", he said".

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