June 29, 2017

New GOP health care plan could raise premiums for the sick

14 April 2017, 02:51 | Leonard Manning

It is far from clear whether the inclusion of the provision - which is based on the state of Maine's high-risk pool - in the American Health Care Act bill will do enough to garner the Republican votes needed to pass that legislation, and send it to the Senate for review.

This round of talks was centered on a plan presented by the White House.

One forbids insurers from charging higher premiums on account of people's medical problems or pre-existing conditions.

Representative Patrick McHenry on Wednesday said the idea of allowing states to waive requirements for covering people with pre-existing conditions is a "bridge too far for our members" and can not get enough votes to pass, the Hill magazine reported. "So my understanding of the impact of insurance regulations is real".

The White House offer got an uneven reception Tuesday from GOP moderates and conservatives, leaving prospects shaky that the party could salvage one of its leading priorities in Congress.

Freedom Caucus members say the White House could get a lot of them to approve a bill by allowing states to seek waivers from regulations that require health insurers to cover a minimum set of benefits, charge sicker consumers the same amount as healthy people in a given geographic area and offer policies regardless of health status.

Vice President Mike Pence has been making trips to Capitol Hill this week for discussions on healthcare and the repeal of Obamacare with members of Congress, including the Freedom Caucus.

Ryan credited a breakthrough in negotiations among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP for the progress.

It's another blow to Republicans and the Trump administration who had worked this week to revive the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Now members are scheduled to leave for their spring break Thursday without having voted on health care.

Yankees again top Forbes' rankings at $3.7 billion
Of course, the Ricketts have a ways to go until they match the value increase the Steinbrenner family has seen in the Yankees. On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the next most valuable franchise with a value of $2.75 billion.

Pence asserted himself this week as the quarterback who could save the repeal and replace effort and Ryan had kept his distance, both cognizant that the dynamics that sank the initial effort hadn't changed, and that an overt second push by leadership was likely to snuff out any organic conversations between rank-and-file lawmakers and caucus groups that House leaders were quietly encouraging. He has suggested that he mostly wants a deal on health care.

"If those offers that were made over the last couple of days actually appear in the legislation, the majority, if not nearly all of the Freedom Caucus, will vote for this bill", Meadows told reporters Thursday.

"The left wing among House Republicans doesn't want to compromise or keep their pledge to voters to repeal Obamacare", Club for Growth president David McIntosh said in a statement. Ryansaid he's unsure if his party can draft a new Trumpcare bill and hold a vote before Friday.

But some high-risk pools operating before passage of the Affordable Care Act were not financially viable, and Avalere Health President Dan Mendelson warned the same thing could happen again, given this group's extremely high medical expenses.

The amendment Ryan announced Thursday does not resolve disputes that have already split Republicans.

Conservative Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said he remained a "no" votes, saying states should be allowed to opt out of Obama's insurance requirements without seeking federal permission "on bended knee".

However, high-risk pools have always been criticized for their hiccups, and the Republican amendment remains unclear on its specifics.

But health care industry consultant Robert Laszewski said it would also open a “back door” to a system where the sick can get priced out of coverage.

Gallup said this week that the law gained majority approval for the first time, with 55 percent supporting it and 41 percent disapproving.

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