State officials ask Congress to secure 'Obamacare' subsidies


But this merry-go-round explains why House Republicans are struggling to find an equilibrium and pass a health care bill. A couple little pieces on the regulatory framework, and then I think we can all get to yes", said Brat, who came to Congress after defeating former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorBrat: "New ObamaCare repeal bill has "significant" changes Overnight Energy: "Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule House staffer, Monsanto vet named to top Interior posts MORE in a primary. "I believe we will get it, and whether it is next week or shortly thereafter".

The White House optimism is driven largely by a deal brokered by leaders of the conservative Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group aimed at giving states more flexibility to pull out of "Obamacare" provisions.

The text of a new bill is likely to circulate Friday "or by the weekend", White House officials say, with the intention of scheduling a vote by midweek, Politico reported.

The GOP has been working to resolve divisions between the conservative House Freedom Caucus and moderate Republicans over how much flexibility to give states on regulations involving pre-existing condition protections. They cited the higher priority of passing a spending bill within days to avert a government shutdown, uncertainty over details of the developing health agreement and a need to sell it to lawmakers.

However, the concessions - mostly the ability for states to get a waiver to eliminate so-called essential health benefits and the community rating - may drive away moderates in the Republican conference. That's because the American Health Care Act was killed in part because it rolled back Medicaid coverage for millions of low-income people, something moderate Republicans opposed.

The latest version of the proposal, published Thursday morning in Politico, would maintain popular benefits in President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, such as guaranteed coverage for emergency services and maternity care.

A senior GOP aide told Business Insider that congressional leaders are not sure whether the bill, even with the adjustments, has enough support to get through the House. Vice President Mike Pence also played a role in shaping that plan, Republicans say.

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And to sweeten the pot for conservatives, states would be allowed to obtain waivers for the ACA's community rating provision, which prevents insurers from pricing people with pre-existing conditions out of the individual market.

To make up for that, they want to require states that waive those protections to set up a high-risk pool to offer coverage to sick people.

For instance, states could choose to put people with pre-existing conditions in "high-risk pools".

A Republican member familiar with the negotiations expressed some skepticism that the Freedom Caucus can actually deliver the votes they are promising. They don't necessarily vote as a bloc, and it is unclear how many colleagues MacArthur would bring with him to such an agreement.

With the 100-day mark of the Trump administration on the horizon, the White House is eager for a legislative victory on health care.

That GOP source said members continue to discuss ways to tally up the 216 votes needed to pass an Obamacare repeal measure through the House. He signed a memo directing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to return recommendations within 50 days. During a speech in London on Wednesday, the speaker said Republicans are "very close" to agreeing on a bill that can pass the lower chamber.