The Public Pulse: Republicans now own health care mess

Rep. Bill Johnson R-Ohio left and Rep. Jason Smith R-Mo. work on the Republican health care bill in the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017

Rep. Bill Johnson R-Ohio left and Rep. Jason Smith R-Mo. work on the Republican health care bill in the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017

The bad news for the GOP's Obamacare replacement proposal is that it reserves its good news mostly for upper-income earners and insurance executives.

Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, weighed in during his daily press briefing.

-$880 billion drop in federal Medicaid spending over the decade. We've said before that they should be open to retooling their bill to encourage more people to buy coverage. There are earlier reports that the GOP has not won enough people to get to that number, which is in spite of Republicans holding 246 seats in the House of Representatives and 52 in the Senate.

As Mike Strazzella, a federal government relations attorney at Buchanan, Ingersoll, & Rooney told The Independent, the CBO has "no political gain to adding or not adding" pieces of the bill in their analysis. Access to quality, affordable care will improve.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a prominent conservative skeptic of the legislation, said he believed the CBO assessment was correct and stepped up his call for House Republicans to put the bill on hold to fix its problems.

"It's vintage Donald Trump: talks like a populist, but when he acts, it's hard-right, favoring the special interests and hurting the middle class and those trying to get there", Democrat Schumer told a news conference. Other changes the president has talked about that could drive down costs, like allowing insurance to be bought across state lines or some form of drug-price negotiations, won't have had time to go into effect and are expected to be included in a separate piece of legislation.

According to the GOP bill, premium rates would be increased until 2020 and then subsequently lowered, expecting increases by 15% and 20% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Much of the reason for this appears to be a principle of underwriting.

U.S. and China to Further Strengthen Two-Way Ties
U.S. secretary of state visits China to strengthen ties, address N Korea's nuclear programme and discuss trade issues. Tillerson said Trump placed a " very high value on the communications that have already occurred " with Xi.

A third change is the assurance that tax credits for people who purchase insurance in the independent market won't be used for abortion.

The replacement plan eliminates the individual mandate and thus guaranteed coverage. Others would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums. That's kept private insurance prices about 7 percent lower.

There are now 33 Republican governors in the US, 16 of which head states that expanded Medicaid.

OH added 700,000 people to its Medicaid rolls under the expansion, which is mostly paid for with federal funds.

Failing to pass a bill while his party controls both the House and Senate would be a devastating blow to his party and the premise of his presidency - that he was a dealmaker the country needed.

"So they didn't do themselves any favors today". The measure that passed in committee last week would reduce the number of insured people by 14 million next year and 24 million by 2026, the CBO said Monday.

At least a dozen Republican senators, including some who had previously kept a low profile in the health debate, made clear they had concerns over the bill's policy proposals, complicating House leaders' hopes that the bill's momentum would overpower internal GOP infighting over legislative details.

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