Ryan Clings to Core of GOP Obamacare Bill as Opposition Mounts
'Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes.' He said he got a dozen commitments, although a list of attendees put out by the White House was more of a 'baker's dozen'.
He warned, "The House majority could be at risk if we get health care reform wrong". Conservatives were unhappy the measure doesn't erase enough of Obama's law while at the other end of the party's spectrum, GOP moderates were upset that the Republican bill would strip millions of health coverage.
While Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said he felt like the White House was open to the changes, it was just another example of the tension point between conservatives and moderates. "We definitely were not", said a spokesman for Molina Healthcare, which has about a million customers under Obamacare's exchanges. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., arrive at the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March, 15, 2017, for a vote to confirm former Indiana Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces re-election next year, became the fourth Republican senator to announce his 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.
Congressional Democrats remain solidly opposed to the GOP effort. They're also seeking less generous tax credits for people's health care costs and elimination of Obama's insurance requirements, including mandatory coverage of specified services like drug counseling. Details were initially unclear, but Republicans have recently discussed using them for healthy people with no dependents.
Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said Thursday in a letter that the beleaguered legislation "provides nearly no new flexibility for states", fails to ensure enough resources to protect vulnerable residents, and shifts significant new costs to states. The program now costs the federal government around $370 billion annually and automatically covers costs, no matter the amounts.
Specifically, conservatives want Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid to end sooner than proposed in the Ryan plan, and want to introduce Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied adults without children. "But they also show that President Trump is all-in now", a help in winning converts.
"You're looking at some of the top conservatives in the House", he said.
The Wisconsin Republican said the goal is to get a bill that can pass and the president is "making it easier and better for us" to pass their health care bill.
"Everything has to be a change that would increase the vote count", Scalise said.
GOP leaders can not afford more than 21 defections in the House during a full vote there expected within weeks.
At a meeting with the Republican Study Committee (RSC) he made sure to push that he is still in support, saying he was "100% behind this" in reference to the American Health Care Act.
Some moderate Republicans are nervous that the plan would cause struggling families to suffer, a prospect highlighted this week by a damning congressional projection that 24 million people could lose insurance within a decade under the new bill.
Heller joined three other GOP senators in opposing the bill: Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.
"'It's our job to get it out of here and get it to the Senate, '" Pence told the Republicans, according to Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla.