GOP Tweaks Healthcare Bill for Older Americans

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-Texas opposes the Republican health care bill during work by the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017

Paul Ryan is looking to squeeze a little more out of House Republicans' health care bill, amid outcry that the measure leaves older Americans out in the cold, reports Politico.

President Trump says "nays" became "yays" at his meeting of staunch conservatives, as he made a deal on block funding for states and work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.

It looks like their message is getting through.

Ryan didn't say whether he had the 218 votes necessary to pass the bill, which would replace President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, but he said he feels "very good about where we are".

"We think we should be offering 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.

Cotton's opposition, which he's broadcast in multiple TV and radio interviews and over Twitter, has raised eyebrows in the Capitol where a number of GOP senators have misgivings about the bill, but many are more restrained in expressing them.

"We are making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements", he said.

"We have a president who is rolling up his sleeves...."

The Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan group that crunches the numbers for the legislature, delivered a score that said while the AHCA would save the country $337 billion over a ten year period, 14 million people would lose health coverage within a year and that number would rise to 24 million by 2026.

Instead, Ryan spent part of his news conference disputing suggestions that he and Trump are at odds over the health bill, rumblings that originate with Ryan's very reluctant support for Trump during the presidential campaign. "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.

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".

Saying they represent most GOP governors, the four submitted a nine-page proposal that gives states more options to overhaul Medicaid and modifies the shift to federal spending limits envisioned by the House.

Democrats have been heavily critical of the new health care plan while conservative Republicans have described it as 'Obamacare-lite'.

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