Trump to address House GOP ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote

Susan Collins

'Fox News Sunday': Paul Ryan: ObamaCare Replacement Bill Still Needs Work, But Likely to Pass Soon

Leadership's most urgent priority: Make sure they have the votes, changing the bill if necessary.

Democrats believe that the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare can hurt the elderly Americans, as well as poor and working families.

"I think Thursday is most likely the day to bring it forward", the Wisconsin Republican told "Fox News Sunday".

While Ryan is optimistic about the bill's prospects in the House, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows reported yesterday that there remain 40 GOP representatives who will not vote for the bill in its current form.

"What Republicans have put forth is a awful bill-24 million people kicked off of health insurance which the [House] speaker calls 'an act of mercy, '" Pelosi said.

Those changes include allowing states the option of imposing Medicaid work requirements and the option of accepting Medicaid funding through block grants. "The dramatic reduction in the amount of subsidies means there's going to be fewer people covered".

Trump administration officials - including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma - have been meeting with GOP lawmakers in an attempt to help gain support for the American Health Care Act over the course of the past two months. Republicans hold a majority in the chamber but can not afford to have more than 21 defections for the measure to pass. Over the weekend, Meadows met with President Donald Trump to discuss conservative members' qualms with the bill. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said his boss "shares (governors') concerns about the need to protect the Medicaid expansion population and give governors more flexibility to ensure they can design programs that meet the needs of their states". The bill faces an even tougher road in the Senate, where lawmakers are opposing it along the same lines as those in the House.

Collins said coverage issues must also be dealt with, citing a report from the Congressional Budget Office that said 14 million people would lose health coverage under the House bill over the next year and 24 million over the next decade. The association represents BCBS insurers that cover the vast majority of the roughly 10 million people enrolled in 2017 Obamacare plans.

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