Budget office to gauge health bill effect on coverage, cost


Senate leaders are positioning themselves for a Congressional Budget Office report that will assess the impact the House-approved health care bill would have on insurance coverage and consumers' costs. The divide sets up a clash between House conservatives and a growing number of Senate Republicans who would rather work with Democrats on a spending deal than entertain Trump's deep cuts. "We know that the president's budget won't pass as proposed". John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican, said Tuesday.

"I accept that we will get hit for this".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday said he doesn't know how Republicans will muster enough votes to get their bill repealing and replacing Obamacare through the Senate.

"Certainty that tells them that they're not going to get their money isn't very good certainty for them", Gary Claxton, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said in an interview Friday. "They will not be irrelevant in the process and at some point, here in the near future, those discussions will begin". That scared off many Republicans and complicated House leaders' job of passing their legislation.

McConnell expressed optimism two parties can band together to pass legislation funding the federal government in the fiscal year starting on October 1. That would be the way the U.S. Senate is supposed to function.

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Many Republicans asked about the payments rebuffed questions entirely.

The House narrowly passed its legislation to overhaul the healthcare system and dismantle major parts of the Obamacare law, formally called the Affordable Care Act, that was Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, overcoming unified opposition from Democrats. The White House plans to propose forcing states to pay a portion of the benefits in the program, which reached more than 44 million beneficiaries in 2016.

Mulvaney, who served in the House from 2011 until earlier this year, is a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus. It comes roughly a month before insurers must file their 2018 premium requests, and could offer more certainty for insurers about whether they would receive that crucial government funding.

But writing legislation that can pass with only Republican votes has proven agonizing.

It was the budget office's first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes. And you are deliberately bypassing the Senate HELP Committee with a special committee that you appointed that is comprised of 13 white male Republicans? The proposal is likely to change in the U.S. Senate.

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But the cuts were met with intense criticism even among the majority of GOP members who hailed Trump's desire to pare back spending, including many who anxious about the size of some of the proposed cuts. But he said he draws the line on cuts to Meals on Wheels, a charity that Mulvaney earlier this year suggested was ineffective.

Trump's Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, dismissed the new analysis. But he worries that Trump would finance those increases by cutting critical programs like the National Institutes of Health. "NIH is a national treasure, and it would be hurt, too".

The two parties could ask to continue the hold and the court could grant it. Insurers would then face another 90 days of questioning whether the payments would be made.

The Senate majority leader still said that the "goal" is to get to 50 votes, but he isn't quite sure how the votes will pan out.

But such a deal is sure to anger conservatives in the House, where numerous most hard-line members staunchly defended aspects of Trump's proposal. Without the payments, Republicans could be blamed for a mass exodus of insurers from the Obamacare marketplace next year, potentially leaving many of their constituents without any options. Trump campaigned for president on a promise to improve health care. "I just don't think from a moral standpoint that's something we can do".

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