J. Denny Weaver: Ryan's health care bill reveals his values

According to Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday, House Republicans are working on changes to their Obamacare replacement bill to provide more generous tax credits for older Americans.

Meanwhile, a key conservative senator said White House officials were continuing to negotiate through the weekend on even more dramatic revisions to the bill in hopes of winning over hard-liners who have threatened to tank the legislation. A Congressional Budget Office review of the bill released on March 13 suggested there would be increases in out-of-pocket costs, especially for older people. It would shrink the tax credits they use to help buy insurance and it would increase their premiums because the bill allows insurers to charge more as people age and become more susceptible to health problems.

Ryan said that proposed changes to the health-care system that would occur outside of the bill also would lower payments.

The plan has been flatly rejected by Democrats, while moderate Republicans fear it doesn't do enough to help vulnerable populations, while conservatives argue it doesn't go far enough to undo government intrusion into healthcare.

Wallace noted a CBO estimate which said that a 64 year old making less than $27,000 a year will pay $14,600 a year for health insurance instead of the $1,700 they pay now under President Barack Obama's law. But he acknowledged that the GOP bill would probably have to change. He added that while "market freedom and regulatory relief" would "dramatically lower" costs in that age demographic, "even with that, we think, we should be offering more assistance than what the bill now does".

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Trump won the support of several conservative House members on Friday when he agreed to make changes to the Medicaid portion of the bill, including giving states the option of instituting a work requirement on childless, able-bodied adults who receive the benefit. That is, of course, how all health insurance works.

The GOP bill as now written offers a fixed tax credit for low- and middle-income Americans that rises by age. "I believe that the real negotiation begins when we stop them".

"We feel like we're on track", Ryan said, "and we're right where we want to be". He also blasted ObamaCare, noting the legislation won't last.

"He's helping us make sure that we bridge differences with members who are bringing constructive ideas and solutions for how to make this bill better", Ryan said.

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