Health secretary prods GOP to 'collaborate' on health bill

Rep. Cathy Mc Morris Rodgers R-Wash. speaks at the GOP news conference

The House Rules Committee, effectively run by the speaker's office, sets the terms for floor debate.

Republicans are on the fence when it comes to Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office, the gold standard in trying to divine the impact of legislation, was not kind to the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

Although the Republican bill would also provide tax credits, they would not be created to keep pace with rising premiums. The CBO says 24 million people will be thrown off their insurance plans in the next 10 years.

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 were not sufficient.

"When you say access is that like if I'm sitting at home and I make $25,000 a year, I have access to buying a BMW, but I can't afford it". It was based on a report that assumed Republicans will repeal parts of the law through the reconciliation process without outlining any replacement plan, thus leading to a near collapse of the nongroup insurance market.

Nicola Sturgeon: Blocking IndyRef2 will destroy United Kingdom unity
Theresa May says she will fight to sustain this "precious Union" at the Conservative Party's Welsh Spring Conference in Cardiff. May is now free to invoke Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, triggering two years of exit negotiations.

In another warning signal, four GOP governors wrote congressional leaders Thursday saying the bill's approach to Medicaid would not work for states.

But at least a dozen House Republicans did not attend the meeting with Trump and are still critical of the plan. Furthermore, if carefully constructed, a public option like Medicare for All would also do wonders for US businesses by relieving them of the burden of providing health coverage for their employees - at a cost significantly lower than what they now pay.

Republicans have traditionally been more supportive of the CBO, using it to counter more rosy estimates made by the Clinton and Obama administrations. The Republican plan would lower costs for the young, while raising them for older Americans. Once that came out, there was a risk of losing even more members of the Republican party to back the bill once voting commences. The 2010 law, Democratic President Barack Obama's signature legislation, provided 20 million previously uninsured Americans with health coverage.

But underscoring the push-pull problem GOP leaders face in winning votes, moderates feel the tax credits are too stingy, especially for low earners and older people. According to the CBO, the net effect of eliminating both Obamacare's subsidies and tax increases is a $337 billion surplus from 2017 to 2026 (that is, spending drops about $1.2 trillion and nearly $900 billion of tax increases are cut).

The House GOP's vote counter, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, also attended the meeting and said the changes give Republicans "the best chance" to get the legislation to the Senate. Collins' opposition leaves the bill short of the support it needs in the Senate unless it changes, since GOP leaders can only lose two votes. The movement has given House Republican leadership a shot of confidence, scheduling a vote on the bill before the full House next Thursday. But that could increase the cost of the legislation, and in turn, make it tougher to get through the House. "We don't need to do something, we need to do the right thing". However, more alterations could very well occur between now and next week.

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