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House's dubious amendments record foreshadows more money struggles to come

19 March 2017, 08:48 | Darin Griffith

House's dubious amendments record foreshadows more money struggles to come

Rep. Dave Brat R-Va. center a member of the House Freedom Caucus leaves the House Budget Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017 during the committee’s health markup

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

"I feel like it's exactly where we want to be, and the reason I feel so good about this is because the President has become a great closer", he said. "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.

The analysis released last week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that the House Republican plan would provide less assistance to older, low-income Americans than Obamacare while allowing insurers to charge older customers up to five times more than younger consumers. "We're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect peoples' improvements".

The bill is still scheduled to be brought to the floor for a vote on March 23.

But Ryan expressed confidence that the bill would pass the House this week - and then move to the Senate, where the legislation is facing even sharper doubts and the GOP majority is much narrower.

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.

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Asked on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures" whether the bill would pass the House on Thursday, Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said, "We're definitely moving in the right direction" and "I am confident we will come together". "President Trump said this is one big, fat negotiation".

"I feel very good about it, actually", Ryan said of having the necessary votes Thursday.

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.

"We've had insurers tell us not only will we stay in the market, we'll get back in the market", Price said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

"They still believe that the conservatives in their caucus don't want Obamacare Lite", he said.

"It's fixable, but it's going to take a lot of work", Cotton said on CNN's "State of the Union". Lawmakers need to slow down and solve this problem, he said.



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