The leader of the House Freedom Caucus, whose members want to reduce Medicaid funding and have other objections, said the bill won’t pass without even more changes.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican plan’s top backer in Congress, said he is “certain” that the CBO will show a reduction in the number of Americans with coverage.
And moderate Republicans in the Senate say too many people would be deprived of insurance, including those covered by the expanded Medicaid under the ACA. “That’s why it’s so important that we get this legislation right, because there is no step three”.
“I have significant concerns with the House bill”, Cruz said, while many other Republicans – including fellow Texas Sen.
The changes fulfill some requests of more conservative Republicans, but would be optional for states, so as not to alienate moderate members.
The hope – described as a “pretty hard target” by Rep. Bradley Byrne – is for the AHCA to go to a final House vote on Thursday.
“ObamaCare is imploding. It is a disaster and 2017 will be the worst year yet, by far!” he tweeted.
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 2010 law, Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, provided 20 million previously uninsured Americans with health coverage.
“This is a great plan, this is going to be fantastic”, Trump insisted, falsely.
CBO said the number of people without health coverage would soar in subsequent years, “to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026” compared to those now insured under the reforms implemented by Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. With Democrats expected to vote as a bloc against the legislation, Republicans can afford to lose only 21 votes to pass the bill through the House. He said people will have choices as they select the kind of coverage they want as opposed to what the government forces them to buy. “We stand united today to move this forward for the American people”, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, told reporters Friday morning.
The Trump administration’s criticisms of the CBO are unusual.
“We are offering coverage to everyone”, he said. “You’re going to see diminished services”. States would also gain authority to redesign benefits and require beneficiaries to pay modest amounts for their care.
That leaves President Donald Trump with a decision to make about whether to wade into the policy debate or let GOP leaders try to sort it out on their own.
Trump said several changes have been made to the bill, but did not provide details.