Republicans revamp United States health bill, boost benefits to older Americans

Posted March 20, 2017

Pelosi slams GOP healthcare plan, Trump budget Ryan on healthcare plan: We believe we should have more assistance for older people Ryan expects changes to Trump's proposed NIH budget cuts MORE on Sunday said he is feeling optimistic about the prospects of passing the GOP healthcare plan.

Ryan however, apparently, believes that Trump has what it takes to clinch the necessary votes, describing the president as "a great closer", and praising him for negotiating changes to the health care plan.

More moderate Republicans also have issues with the bill.

It looks like their message is getting through.

Ryan said Republican leaders still planned to bring the healthcare bill to a vote on the House of Representatives floor on Thursday.

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

"And that's one of the things we're looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs", the Wisconsin Republican said.

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, said the Trump administration was open to changes to address the effects on older Americans and other concerns.

Affordability has been one of the bigger concerns that insurers and hospital groups have raised about the legislation. That, he said, would lower the costs for everyone.

Under Obamacare, insurers can charge only three times more.

In an extreme case laid out in the CBO report, a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would see yearly premiums rise from $1,700 under the ACA to $14,600 under the Republican plan.

Trump won the support of several conservative House members on Friday when he agreed to make changes to the Medicaid portion of the bill, including giving states the option of instituting a work requirement on childless, able-bodied adults who receive the benefit. That's because the GOP plan would offer only $4,900 in tax credits, compared to $13,600 under Obamacare subsides.

But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has worked closely with the hard-right bloc in the House, said on "This Week" that the bill was still short of a majority.

"He's helping us make sure that we bridge differences with members who are bringing constructive ideas and solutions for how to make this bill better", Ryan said. "We're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect peoples' improvements". "I feel it's exactly where we want to be".