Ryan working with more conservative lawmakers to pass health care bill

Posted March 20, 2017

U.S. House Republicans are working on changes to their healthcare overhaul bill to provide more generous tax credits for older Americans and to add a work requirement for the Medicaid program for the poor, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday. Now, right now we have five or six senators who look like maybe they're not gonna, I'm talking about Republicans.

"After eight years of suffering under Obamacare, conservatives are close to repealing and replacing Obamacare with President Trump and Speaker Ryan's reforms to lower costs, eliminate job destroying mandates, and put patients and doctors in charge of health care instead of Washington bureaucrats", it states.

"We're been working at this literally for seven years", said the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn. Citing lawmakers' town hall meetings that have been jammed with activists opposing the GOP bill, he said, "This bill is not what the American people want".

"We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill now does", for lower-income people age 50 to 64, Ryan said of the tax credits for health insurance that are proposed in the legislation. "And so where I dispute that comparison is it suggests that we're going to have the same kinds of plans being offered in 10 years that Obamacare would otherwise offer".

Now it appears that the House will take up a series of amendments to the original plan when the bill hits the floor this week, probably on Thursday. Despite Trump's backing, a slew of conservative advocacy groups are criticizing the effort and running ads against Ryan and other Republicans who support the plan. 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. He's the one who was helped negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus.

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.

"That's one of the things we're looking at", Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, told "Fox News Sunday".

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. That left Senate GOP leaders at least two votes shy of what they'd need to prevail in the chamber, which they control 52-48. We ran on repealing Obamacare because it doesn't work. Members of the Republican's House Freedom Caucus are demanding the full repeal of Obamacare.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said he doesn't "believe" the plan will pas through Congress. We're now going to go to the rules committee. "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 disgusting, disastrous Obamacare".