White House pushes uncertain bid to revive health care bill

A section of border wall stands in Anzalduas Park in Mission Texas across the Rio Grande from Reynosa Mexico

White House pushes uncertain bid to revive health care bill

Money for the wall President Donald Trump wants to build along the US border with Mexico must be part of the massive spending bill Congress is preparing, the White House budget director says.

"I want to get both".

I think it is best to understand the periodic reemergence of the American Health Care Act as similar to the periodic searches for evidence that President Barack Obama really did "tapp" Trump's phones.

News of the deal comes as President Donald Trump nears his 100th day in office, and just days before lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., to hash out the details of a bill funding the government.

The initial bill was pulled off the floor in March due to a lack of consensus between conservatives and moderates.

State insurance regulators with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday, pleading, "Your action is critical to the viability and stability of the individual health insurance markets in a significant number of states across the country".

Additionally, it does not address the concerns of moderates such as the defunding of Medicaid expansion or the estimates that the Affordable Health Care Act could leave up to 24 million fewer people without health coverage over the next 10 years.

Revamping the US tax code has become a new legislative test for President Donald Trump after a Republican push to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law failed last month in a humiliating defeat for the party. "We have no idea if this nets us votes or can pass the Byrd Rule", a reference to whether the current bill would be eligible to pass via reconciliation, which would only need a simple majority to pass in the Senate, as oppose to needing to clear 60-vote threshold.

Trump administration officials, eager to score a win amid a rocky start to the president's term, have been pushing for a new vote.

If for no other reason than that they know it could do lasting political damage to their party, the GOP leaders who control Congress insist they don't want to see the government close down. There is a legal challenge to those subsidies making its way through the courts and the GOP planned to keep paying out these subsidies while they worked to overhaul the health care system. The changes to the bill now being discussed - a weakening of insurer regulations that will have the most impact on people with pre-existing conditions - may make the AHCA worse in the eyes of many more moderate Republicans.

Republican lawmakers have been exploring ways to give states the flexibility to scrap these protections. The GOP health-care bill as it stands would instead allow states to spell out essential health benefits. "This amendment will make coverage of pre-existing conditions sacrosanct for all Americans and ensures essential health benefits remains the federal standard". A 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that insurers quoted premiums as high as 50 percent more for depression and 100 percent more for breast cancer, with numerous most expensive, and thus, sickest, people getting rejected.

"This latest attempt to repeal the ACA is full of broken promises and deceptive rhetoric", said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

"This isn't Mr. Trump's promised 'insurance for everybody.' It sounds more like a two-bit Hollywood villain promising carnage if he doesn't get his way".

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