GOP health bill in shambles, House commences two-week break

Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed to think Republicans would be able to get their ducks in a row better on a funding bill than they did on the Obamacare repeal, which failed when conservative and moderate Republicans couldn't come together.

"It doesn't complete the task, but it's a good step in the right direction", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said.

An estimated 133 million Americans under age 65 have pre-existing conditions that would have kept them from getting individual insurance or required them to pay much higher rates prior to 2014, when the ACA's new coverage protections were implemented, according to federal estimates.

House offices received notice Wednesday evening that the House will hold its last votes around 11 a.m. Thursday morning before leaving for two weeks.

With hard issues such as tax reform looming, Ryan said one takeaway from the failure to find consensus among different GOP factions on health care is that, "We have to talk things out much, much, much more thoroughly". As long as they can manage to find the 218 votes to get something, anything, through their chamber, they solve the most immediate problem: ducking blame for the bill's failure. Yet when the Freedom Caucus tried to push a 2015 bill that had once received unanimous Republican support, the party was not willing to put it before President Trump.

"We are going to go home tomorrow without a deal", Congressman Chris Collins, a Republican moderate in the U.S. House of Representatives, told reporters.

After days of internal negotiations with the White House about how to revive their Obamacare repeal and replacement plan, House Republicans are on track to leave Washington tomorrow for two weeks without resolving the major issues holding up a vote on the bill.

Trump administration officials and leading legislators said they planned to resume their hunt for common ground between conservatives and moderates. Originally, the new White House plan called for eliminating almost all the so-called Title 1 insurance regulations under the ACA.

"This amendment alone is real progress, and it will help us build momentum", House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday at his weekly press conference, flanked by roughly two dozen House members, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, Republican Study Committee and Tuesday Group.

McConnell reaches out to Romney about possible Senate bid
Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has told the National Journal he might be step aside if Mitt Romney chose to run for his seat in the U.S. Hatch released a statement to FOX 13 saying in part: "while I have taken steps to run, I have yet to make a final decision".

It's not just that many House Republicans are still probably more afraid of a primary challenge than of losing to a Democrat in 2018.

Their inability to even substantively dig in on the key outstanding issues, at least in a way where they start chopping away at the areas of disagreement, "tells you all you need to know about this meeting", one participant said.

Arrington, as a member of the budget committee, is pressing for urgency because he says tax reform is just around the corner.

"I think what everybody heard is that we want a deal", Meadows said.

Yet it wasn't clear after another late-night meeting on Tuesday with Pence and a broader group of Republicans that the White House is committed to structuring the waiver in a way that conservatives say would bring down the price of premiums, according to one of the aides.

"Nobody was grasping for an idea to go home with", MacArthur told reporters.

The chatter turned frantic as members of Congress fretted about the possibility of a floor vote on a health care bill that was still showing few signs of consensus.

The 2010 law created a temporary high-risk pool, called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which operated from mid-2010 until December 31, 2013, and received $5 billion to help cover consumers' costs. After an initial series of meetings, Republicans vowed they were making progress towards a final plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

They hinted at the fact that Trump has suggested that if Paul Ryan does not succeed in passing a Republican created healthcare plan, he will very likely lose his speakership position. "It goes counter to the promises of more than 200 members of the House", said McHenry.


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