GOP senator complicates Trump, Ryan efforts on health care
- Author: Zachary Reyes Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 5:56
Rand Paul said the House GOP health care bill is unlikely to pass in Congress because there are "enough conservatives that don't want 'Obamacare lite'". "I feel like it's exactly where we want to be".
"Those are all things that we are working", he said. However, the House Freedom Caucus' s 40-member coalition against Speaker Ryan's Obamacare repeal bill might sink the bill's chances of passing.
Ryan said the more generous tax credits will be among the changes the House Rules committee will take up this week in advance of a final House floor vote - planned for Thursday.
The speaker previously had called the decision whether to back the bill a binary choice, but on Sunday he said that doesn't apply until the the American Health Care Act hits the floor.
Democrats are unlikely to support the cuts, and Republican defections raise the possibility of a congressional train wreck and a potential government shutdown when the 2018 budget year begins October 1.
Reported compromises said to have been discussed include allowing states to mandate that Medicaid recipients perform work in exchange for their benefits as well as a plan to rewrite the refundable tax credit provision so as to provide more lucrative benefits for seniors.
A donation of $50,000 will buy a private dinner and photo opportunity with Ryan, as well as an invitation to at least three House GOP retreats. "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". "He's the one who has helped negotiate the changes in this bill with members from all over our caucus".
In the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority, prospects for the GOP bill also were uncertain as both moderates and conservatives criticized it. "We are right where we want to be". Up until now opposition is the only stance newer lawmakers like Cotton have experienced, but he makes no apologies, accusing House leaders of rushing the bill through committee last week before getting an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
But there's enough Republican opposition in the Senate to put the House plan in trouble there unless significant changes are made. "None of us ran on this plan".
That would let Trump pressure "Democrats in these red states to come on board, '" Ross said, referring to Republican-leaning states where Democratic senators face re-election next year.
In a separate interview Sunday on "This Week", Stephanopoulos asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about Paul's proposal for a "clean repeal" of Obamacare and a "wide open debate" about how to replace it. But it does not rise and fall, like the ACA's subsidies, so a person pays only a fixed percentage of their income on their health insurance premiums. "But before I can do that - I would have loved to have put it first, I'll be honest - there is one more very important thing that we have to do: We are going to repeal and replace the frightful, disastrous Obamacare". "This isn't going to get any easier the longer we leave it hanging out there".