White House pushes uncertain bid to revive health care bill

A Republican leadership aide said that no vote is scheduled on the health care bill, an indication that this plan has not yet garnered enough consensus.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Among the provisions maintained are guaranteed coverage, community-rating rules, coverage for preexisting conditions, and allowing dependents to remain on their parents' health-care plan until the age of 26.

The House is now embattled in a lawsuit with the Trump administration over the payments.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after speaking at an event in London on Wednesday that GOP lawmakers are "in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches" on a healthcare bill, The Hill reports.

The Freedom Caucus is made up of several dozen Republican members of Congress who exert their influence as a voting bloc with an aim to push legislations in a more conservative direction.

And while health insurance premiums would have been lower for some consumers, many older and lower-income Americans would have been priced out of coverage by the GOP plan.

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States could request an exemption from the rule meant to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions could not be charged prohibitive premiums, but only if those states establish a high-risk insurance pool.

At issue are cost-sharing payments that are a key subsidy under the health care law to help low-income people enrolled through the law's insurance marketplaces with their out-of-pocket expenses. Moderate and conservative Republicans alike hosted town halls, some more confrontational than others, and heard from individuals both in favor of and opposed to current efforts to repeal the health care overhaul. President Trump, who reportedly is a pretty big fan of winning, was never going to take such a loss lightly.

But an increasing number of GOP lawmakers have been voicing new concerns, amid a widespread public backlash against the House legislation.

A House Republican source said it's unlikely the measure will attract any new support from the moderate wing of the House Republican conference. "Ultimately, the pricing for many benefits would become so unattractive that insurers would stop selling coverage for them altogether". Everyone knows it's just going to die in the Senate. But other moderates have been skeptical of proposals that could undermine their campaign promises, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Well, no. Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) have reportedly worked on an amendment that would restore essential health benefits that already exist in the ACA into the Republican alternative, while targeting a "community rating" provision that would hurt Americans with pre-existing conditions.

A substantial number of other members of the Republican conference have ideological or political objections (or both) to changes that would take away health insurance from many of their constituents, and/or make it hard for people to get health insurance coverage that addresses their actual medical needs.

MacArthur, on his Facebook page, said the plan "will make coverage of pre-existing conditions sacrosanct for all Americans".

The AHCA also would provide about $100 billion to the states in a "stability fund" that could be used to establish and subsidize high-risk pools.

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