Lunes, 11 Diciembre, 2017

Republicans still short of votes to pass USA healthcare overhaul

Gary Cohn President and COO of Goldman Sachs speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for the new site of Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy Wednesday Mark Lennihan AP
Manuel Armenta | 04 May, 2017, 17:34

The bill was already pulled from the House floor once, in late March, due to a lack of support.

By early Tuesday, CNN's whip count suggested that 21 Republican lawmakers had said they would vote against the new iteration of the bill - a compromise between some conservatives and moderates.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Gloria Borger he is "optimistic" about the outcome.

Upton said Trump called him Tuesday afternoon. "It'll pass. It's a good bill", McCarthy told the media. But eventually, he said, they came to an agreement on his amendment. Republican Rep. Darrell Issa and other lawmakers from the area remain uncommitted to the GOP health bill.

House Republican leaders say they are close on garnering the votes to scrap major parts of Democrat Barack Obama's health care law but that they are still short of the votes.

There is no indication that GOP leadership is close to obtaining enough votes for a health care bill to pass, and prominent House Republicans like Rep. Fred Upton of MI announced their opposition to the rewritten bill after supporting the first version in March.

"They like it when we reach bipartisan agreement", McConnell said. Meadows and Upton both said they had been in touch.

Later on Monday, the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to try and tamp down expectations, saying "We're not there yet", but adding that the Trump administration is "getting closer and closer every day". Upton said their plan would put "downward pressure" on premium costs. Instead, Congress settled on $1.5 billion in surveillance and other security measures, the largest expenditure on the Southwestern border in years. According to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the temporary high-risk pool created by the ACA covered just 100,000 people; the government paid out $2 billion in subsidies to that pool in one year.

Some Republicans were not on-message either about the $1.1 trillion spending bill, the bipartisan result of weeks of negotiations in which top Democrats like Pelosi successfully blocked Trump's most controversial proposals, including a down payment on his oft-promised Mexico border wall, cuts to popular domestic programs, and new punishments for so-called sanctuary cities. Depending on how many states apply for the funds, $1.6 billion a year could be spread thin.

An amendment proposed last week by moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur would allow states to waive certain protections of Obamacare, including aspects of its community-rating provisions that mandated all people who are the same age be charged the same price by insurers.

"Not sure they'll be there or ever be there", the source said of the votes in favor of the bill, adding that possible likely the House will "keep kicking the can" from one week to the next.

Given the precarious position of the legislation, the White House has been pressuring members to deliver on the healthcare vote. In contrast, fewer than 20 Democrats opposed the bill.

But if the law truly implodes for 2018, meaning insurers drop out of so many areas that millions of people have no insurance options, it could trigger an entirely different health debate. It projected the plan would slash the federal deficit by $150 billion between 2017 and 2026.

At least nineof California's 14 House Republicans so far have declined to publicly endorse the latest version of the American Health Care Act, the work-in-progress designed as the GOP alternative to the Obama administration's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some say they see their party making the same kind of mistakes Republicans criticized Democrats for making back in 2010.

"We've been forced to rely on press reports to figure out what the hell's even in this bill", snapped Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

But the idea that the measure could be changed in the Senate could provide some incentive for moderate Republicans to unite behind it - yet if the current bill isn't the final version, dissuade them from taking a stand for or against it just yet, hindering vote-counting efforts. An amendment that would let states waive some of those requirements has garnered the votes of reluctant conservatives but left more moderate Republicans concerned.

Ryan however said the President had been "nothing but helpful" on health care.

"It strengthens the American Health Care Act by reaffirming our commitment to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, something I've always cared about", Upton said late on Wednesday night.

"This is a very personal fight for me and we will continue this fight. this is about peoples' lives", she said.