White House: Republicans to be rewarded for health care vote

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

"The Republicans are now looking for a unicorn, something that can make the radical right-wing members of the House of Representatives happy, and a bill that can make simultaneously those senators that come from states that have already opted into the Affordable Care Act happy", Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said at a news conference at the Boston office of Health Care For All, an advocacy group.

They cited concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions, along with cuts to Medicaid.

Mick Mulvaney, Mr Trump's budget director, also said the version that gets to the president would probably differ from the House measure.

Americans say, 39 percent to 26 percent, that the AHCA would likely be worse, not better, than the current health care law.

Yet Trump and many of his allies continue to doggedly talk up the House bill, resisting the suggestion the Senate could discard major items in the legislation, which was crafted with inputs from the hard-line House Freedom Caucus.

"The Republican health plan provides families with more choices, better coverage, and lower premiums", the spot says, describing the plan as one that eliminates "expensive mandates" and protects people with pre-existing conditions - a sticking point of the health care debate. But House Republicans and White House advisers, who are more skittish about fraying the relationships they have cultivated with House conservatives and activists, do not want to shelve or play down the bill that just passed.

Senate Democrats are expected to solidly oppose the GOP effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

Trump, eager to deliver on a top campaign promise, sought Sunday to pressure Senate Republicans on the issue.

The confidence was shared by Trump himself, who tweeted Sunday "Republican Senators will not let the American people down!"

"I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential", he said.

But Trump declared Obamacare dead. It would dilute consumer-friendly insurance coverage requirements, like prohibiting higher premiums for customers with pre-existing medical conditions and watering down the subsidies that help consumers afford health insurance.

"We're not going to rush it", Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota said.

Outside the wealthiest Americans, there are few winners in this bill.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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