Republicans may tweak AHCA to garner more support

Dive Brief:

  • As the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) faces a vote in the House on Thursday, passage is not assured because of concerns from far right and left leaning wings of the GOP.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan has said the bill, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), could be changed to give more money in tax credits to older people with low incomes.
  • President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with bioethicist and oncologist Ezekiel Emanuel on Monday along with Ryan and HHS Secretary Tom Price to discuss the Republican reform effort. Emanuel told The Washington Post he is probably the only person on the Democratic side the administration has been talking with.

Dive Insight:

After a damaging score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that found the AHCA would mean 24 million fewer people with insurance, Republicans leaders have been scrambling to shore up support.

Moderates in the GOP are unhappy that the bill would eliminate Medicaid expansion and leave those between the ages of 50 and 64 with significantly higher premiums. Members of the far-right Freedom Caucus, however, say the tax credits are too generous and the bill does not do enough to roll back the ACA.

The change to ease costs for older people who do not yet qualify for Medicare could appease some Republicans but might further alienate hard line conservatives.

The AHCA passed out of the House budget committee last week along party lines and will be before the full House on Thursday, the seventh birthday for the ACA. The bill faces an even tougher road in the Senate, where lawmakers are opposing it along the same lines as those in the House.

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Filed Under: Health Law Policy & Regulation
Top image credit: Gage Skidmore