Republicans and the Trump administration are reported to be close to amending the health care proposal on overhauling Obamacare.
The Trump administration’s push to revive the moribund GOP health care proposal has apparently paid some dividends. The White House and key Republicans in the House of Representatives are reportedly close to an agreement to amend the bill so that states could opt out of two popular Affordable Care Act provisions, including one that requires individual insurance plans to cover 10 “essential health benefits.”
The other provision, known as “community rating,” bars insurers from varying premiums based on health status or medical history. It also requires insurers, under “guaranteed issue” rules, to offer coverage to all who want it. A proposal from Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who leads the moderate GOP Tuesday Group, would allow individual insurers to charge plan members different rates based on their health status.
The proposal was negotiated with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who heads the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The caucus announced their support for the deal on Wednesday. That could allow a House vote by Friday on the bill. House passage of the GOP bill would give President Donald Trump a key legislative success ahead of his 100-day mark this weekend. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wouldn’t speculate on timing for a possible vote.
Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who often sides with the Freedom Caucus, said he will support the revised proposal after “acceptance of the fact that we’re not going to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
“It’s not a repeal, lets be clear,” Sanford told reporters on Wednesday. “I think it’s very important to be clear with the American public and not to oversell this thing: ‘Oh we repealed it’. No we didn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act. We have trimmed back a couple of its key features…I think that, in short form, it’s the most you can get out of this conference. “
MacArthur’s proposal addresses the Affordable Care Act’s community rating system, in which the entire pool of plan enrollees pays the same premium rates. That spreads the higher costs of sicker plan members among all who buy coverage. Both guaranteed issue and community rating helped cut the number of uninsured people with pre-existing conditions by 3.6 million, or 22 percent, from 2010 to 2014, according to federal estimates.
This article was originally posted on Miamiherald.com.