Trump takes up health care with Rand Paul, on golf course

Author

05 April, 2017

Pence and two top White House officials made the offer Monday night in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus, participants said.

White House officials also met with the House Tuesday Group, a more moderate arm of the Republican party, a GOP aide told the Associated Press.

The House Freedom Caucus, with approval from Donald Trump, has created a new healthcare proposal that would nearly completely eliminate one of the best parts of the Affordable Care Act - the part that says you can't be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

"All of our nos were open mindedly willing to look at that, and so in doing so, that's a step in the right direction", said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus. And now, Republicans are negotiating terms for another bill to replace the Affordable Care Act that is far, far worse than the initial clusterfuck of a healthcare bill they proposed.

Because Trump is not an ideologue, he is in a unique position to negotiate the enactment of truly bipartisan comprehensive health-care reform with Congress.

The fallout from the failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act continues to divide and confuse congressional Republicans. Repealing Obama's law has been a paramount GOP campaign promise that helped them grab control of the House that year, the Senate in 2014 and elected Donald Trump to the White House last November.

You could say much the same about Trump, whose views on a host of issues - immigration, free trade, property rights, abortion and more - have often stood in tension with Republican orthodoxy, when they were not contradicting it outright.

He added, "I don't want to put some kind of an artificial deadline because we're at that conceptual stage".

Republican lawmakers said the new push on healthcare would maintain Obamacare's essential health benefits clause listing services and care that insurers must cover. Scavino targeted Amash, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus criticized by Trump.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the plug GOP-backed American Health Care Act from consideration on March 24 when it became clear it didn't have the votes to pass. Members of the Freedom Caucus are also looking for the White House to give states the ability to opt out of the community ratings provision, which now protect consumers from insurers charging higher premiums to individuals based on their their medical history or gender. Since the bill went down, Trump has repeatedly lashed out at members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who contributed to the defeat.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Trump was playing golf with Paul as well as White House budget director Mick Mulvaney at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

Walking into the GOP conference meeting Tuesday, Rep. Justin Amash, a Freedom Caucus member from MI, repeated that no deal had been reached.

"The President is still engaged, the Vice President is engaged, the Speaker is engaged", said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA).

"Well I will get the Democrats if I go the second way".

The Trump administration is unlikely to renew its push to repeal and replace the ACA through a single bill like the AHCA, but may attempt to water down elements of healthcare reform through administrative actions created to reduce federal subsidies and weaken health insurance exchanges.

Ryan says Congress can work on both at the same time. Raul Labrador of Idaho, Rep. Jim Jordan of OH and its chair, Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

Ryan has suggested that they get together to sort out their differences, but it's not happening, according to one key lawmaker.


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