WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, spent part of the weekend selling the GOP healthcare plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He made a quick road trip Saturday night to Harrisburg talking up his new healthcare plan. He then came back to Washington where did an extensive interview with CBS News political director and Face the Nation host John Dickerson.
But there are a few items that President Trump cited in his interview that does not – yet- appear in the latest version of the GOP healthcare bill. A bill that the White House and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) hopes to pass on the House floor sometime as early as this week.
President Trump told Dickerson: “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.’ Adding that the measure has a “clause that guarantees” that people with pre-existing conditions will be covered.
Well, perhaps the president would like to call Speaker Ryan and check that point out.
There was another version of the GOP healthcare bill that was crafted by moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina. It secured the backing of all but a few Freedom Caucus members, while still being too harsh for most moderate Republicans in Congress to embrace the bill.
The bill is getting a huge boost for Ryan and his leadership team. As the Speaker wants to get this bill passed and on to the Senate, where it is likely to be dead on arrival. But Ryan wants to show President Trump he can pass a bill despite the possible political cost to the moderate wing of the party.
In concessions made to the very conservative Freedom Caucus the real fate of pre-existing conditions coverage was made unclear.
1.) According to the AP and other major news operations, while subscribers will have “access,” it does not address affordability.
The latest version of the GOP healthcare plan allows states opt out of the requirement for standard premiums, under certain conditions. If a state agrees to maintain the protection of a high-risk pool, it can allow insurers to use health status as a factor in setting premiums for people who have had a break in coverage and are trying to get a new individual policy.
2.) The new waiver plan that was put forth by the Freedom Caucus was met with strong opposition from patient advocacy groups. Two major groups were quick to condemn the new GOP plan with the American Medical Association saying the Republican protections “may be illusory” and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network expressed concern that the plan could return the U.S. to a “patchwork system” that drives up insurance costs for the sick.
3.) Moderate Republicans are not yet on board with the new healthcare plan either when it comes to waivers to states for Pre-existing conditions coverage. Moderate leader Rep. Charlie Dent, (R-Pa.), has voiced concern about that issue as well affordable coverage for all.
4.) Another key campaign promise the President Trump made was that insurance would affordable for everyone. We Congressman Dent said the changes (made in the healthcare bill) ignored his concerns that the health care bill would cut too deeply into the Medicaid program for the poor and leave many people unable to afford coverage. Dent is another leader of the Tuesday Group and is considered a good gauge of the views of many of its roughly 50 members.
5.) The Republicans have until the end of May to get the repeal and replacement of Obamacre done or it is very likely not going to happen this year if ever.
According POLITICO Republicans need a new budget in order to pass a tax cut or tax reform package that President Trump wants to move on as soon as possible. But once they pass a new spending blueprint, they lose their authority provided by the current budget to approve health care reform using the majority-vote tool called reconciliation. That means it would take 60 votes in the Senate, rather than 51, to pass a bill — an impossible hurdle given Democratic opposition.
So, can they pass this bill and promise that pre-existing conditions are both guaranteed and affordable that is something President Trump will have to shore up this week or if they pass the bill in its present form, once it gets to the Senate.
Video from ABC NEWS