Congressional Republicans have revamped their Obamacare replacement bill in hopes of satisfying critics as President Donald Trump prepared to promote his first major legislative initiative on Capitol Hill.
Some of the changes were unveiled Monday, one being to accelerate the expiration of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes.
Another change involved further restricting the federal Medicaid program, according to The Washington Post.
Two parts of the plan face resistance among Republicans: a proposal to end enrollment in Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid in 2020, and provisions to change eligibility for tax subsidies for individuals to buy health insurance.
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Congressional Republicans on Monday revamped their Obamacare replacement bill in hopes of satisfying critics as President Donald Trump prepared to promote his first major legislative initiative on Capitol Hill
Some of the changes were unveiled Monday, one being to accelerate the expiration of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes. Another change involved further restricting the federal Medicaid program. House Speaker Paul Ryan is pictured talking about the plan earlier this month
One amendment to the Medicaid program would give states the option of requiring able-bodied recipients to participate in job training programs or community service, according to CNN.
States would also be allowed to opt to receive federal Medicaid funding as a block grant for the adults and children in their program.
The current bill calls for giving states a set amount of money per enrollee, known as a per capita cap system.
However, a block grant would reduce federal support for Medicaid since the funding level would not adjust for increases in enrollment.
The state would received a fixed amount of federal dollars each year, no matter how many participants are in the program.
Another amendment to the healthcare plan, came as House leaders attempt to win support from Republicans in upstate New York.
A provision that would ban the federal government from reimbursing state Medicaid funds raised by local governments was added, according to CNN.
The change would help convince member’s of New York state’s delegation who are currently unsure about the bill.
In New York, counties outside of New York City send $2.3 billion to the state to help pay for Medicaid, according to CNN. The amendment would allow the state to stop passing down Medicaid costs to the counties.
A third change made to boost votes, involved House leaders saying they would allow the Senate to beef up tax credits for older Americans who could see major increases in premiums under the GOP plan.
The House is setting aside $75 billion to provide additional tax credits to help people buy policies on the individual market, but they are letting the Senate handle the crafting of the legislation, according to CNN.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported last week on the bill saying 14 million people would lose health coverage under the measure over the next year.
The analysis predicted a short-term increase in premiums under the GOP law and said that premiums are expected to be 10 per cent lower over the next 10 years than they would be if the ACA remained in place.
But the downfall would be that some older and low-income people would face massive premium hikes.
A third change made to boost votes, involved House leaders saying they would allow the Senate to beef up tax credits for older Americans who could see major increases in premiums under the GOP plan
The CBO laid out a particular case in their report.
A 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would see yearly premiums rise from $1,700 under the ACA to $14,600 under the Republican plan, according to the Post.
Ryan has said the Trump administration would continue to lower premiums.
‘We believe we should have even more assistance, and that’s one of the things we’re looking at for that person in the 50s and 60s because they experience higher health-care costs,’ he said.
In a sign of deepening concern among Republicans about the bill’s future, Trump will speak to the party’s lawmakers in Congress on Tuesday about the healthcare overhaul, two House Republican aides said.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters on Monday the new language on taxes and Medicaid provisions was an effort to move the bill to the floor of the US House of Representatives by Thursday.
‘Later today, we will release some technical and policy changes that further strengthen the bill,’ Brady said of planned changes to treatment of Obamacare taxes, optional work requirements for Medicaid and an option for states to accept Medicaid funding as a block grant.
It was not clear whether there would also be more generous tax credits for older Americans, one prospective change House Speaker Paul Ryan described in a television interview on Sunday.
Trump met on Monday at the White House with Ryan, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Zeke Emanuel, an architect of Obama’s healthcare law, to discuss the issue.
Republicans are divided over the plan, with Senate moderates concerned it goes too far and House conservatives saying it does not go far enough.
Republicans and Trump have vowed for years to repeal Obamacare, the signature domestic initiative of former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Democrats oppose the Republicans’ plan, which they say would throw millions off health insurance and hurt the elderly, poor and working families while giving tax cuts to the wealthy.
The Dems as well as hospitals and insurers have urged Republicans to consider how their plan would affect access to healthcare for the 20 million people insured by Obamacare.