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Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

AARP Opposes Health-Care Replacement Plan

AARP Opposes Health-Care Replacement Plan

Since the new year, Republicans have tried out multiple slogans to explain to voters what their health care policy goals are and how they plan to achieve them through the legislative process.

The bill has passed through several committees, but members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus say they might be able to stop the bill from passing the House, in spite of heavy pressure from Republican leaders and the Trump administration.

Hundreds of conservative activists rallied outside the Capitol in sub-freezing weather to call on congressional leaders and Trump to abandon the GOP bill and fully repeal Obama's law.

Those members of Congress don't want to be told that the bill they're being asked to risk their careers on has big problems, or that Trump may not even sign it.

He can't afford to lose more than 20 votes, and more than a dozen conservatives and moderates have said they can't support the bill as is.

That wasn't a particularly effective pitch to wavering Republicans fearful of taking a tough vote.

"They have not been giving it a fair press.

I want everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind this", Trump said.

Trump is meeting with Republican lawmakers at the White House Friday morning.

"These folks were no's, mostly no's yesterday". "CBO also finds that this legislation will provide massive tax relief, dramatically reduce the deficit and make the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation", he said.

The House GOP measure would greatly curtail the financial incentives for individuals to buy insurance on state exchanges while all but eliminating the penalties for not doing so.

Lawmakers at the meeting include Rep. Gary Palmer, a Republican from Alabama, who voted against the plan in a House budget committee vote.

The other change imposes optional work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

Republicans have been divided over the American Health Care Act, the GOP's bid to repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill is not subject to a filibuster, which should make it easier in the Senate, but it also means they can lose only two Republican senators and get it through the chamber. Nevada's Dean Heller, Ohio's Rob Portman, and Arkansas's Tom Cotton are among the Republican senators who have expressed reservations about the House bill.

Under the plan revealed last week by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the most vulnerable Americans would feel the carnage the most.

Of course, the GOP bill will need 216 voted in order to pass to the House. Price wouldn't say what revisions might occur, but said Trump thinks the current measure addresses his priorities.

"I'm concerned about Medicaid expansion and making sure people are taken care of, and again, that's why I'm going to figure out what's going on", Boozman said.

Some GOP governors weighed in Thursday evening in a letter to congressional leaders saying the House bill gives them nearly no new flexibility and lacks sufficient resources to protect the vulnerable. Democrats are united in fierce opposition.

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.

Back at the White House, President Trump's personal thoughts on all of this remain entirely unclear.

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