White House effort to revive health care bill

Andrew Cummings
April 8, 2017

Rand Paul said he feels more optimistic about repealing and replacing Obamacare after a golf outing with President Donald Trump Sunday. The Wisconsin Republican said he believed his party was moving toward consensus, but conceded he didn't know if the House would vote on the measure before beginning a two-week recess later this week.

"We had a great day with the president", Sen.

Said Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho: "I think it would be a mistake to rush it".

Under the proposal from the White House, states would have the option of doing away with requirements in the health care law that insurers provide a minimum level of 10 "essential benefits", including those for pregnancy care, mental health treatment and other services.

Trump told the Financial Times that members of the caucus were "friends of mine". Meadows leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose roughly three dozen members have largely opposed the GOP legislation for not repealing enough of Obama's law.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina endorsed separate votes: One on outright repeal of the 2010 law and a separate vote on a replacement package.

Last Thursday, President Trump tweeted: "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast". He added, "We must fight them" in 2018, a reference to their re-election campaigns.

On Saturday, White House social media Director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted: "Donald Trump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to MI".

"It is inadequate to cause me to shift from "no" to 'yes.' I have not seen anything in the latest White House offer that suggests to me that a skyrocketing health insurance cost would be better constrained", said Representative Mo Brooks, a Freedom Caucus member. The Kentucky senator came out strongly against the House GOP legislation, and its collapse humiliated Trump in the early days of his administration.

"He created an official account upon entering the White House to ensure compliance with the Hatch Act and he has taken the necessary steps to ensure there is a clear distinction between both Twitter accounts".

Even so, some members of the House Freedom Caucus, the hard-right group whose opposition helped sink the Republican bill last month, were showing signs of accepting less than many originally wanted.

The White House had no immediate comment.

In the final stages of negotiations over the first GOP bill, the president said this would be the one and only shot to get repeal and replace done. Earlier in March, Paul and House Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan of OH pushed legislation in both chambers that would mirror the repeal bill that Congress passed through the budget reconciliation process in 2015 but that President Barack Obama vetoed. By allowing states to opt out of the so-called community rating, insurers could charge sicker people much more.

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