The tide is quickly turning against the new ObamaCare repeal legislation.
At least 21 Republicans have said they would vote “no” on the revised GOP healthcare bill negotiated by centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
Those no votes include Reps. Patrick Meehan (Pa.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Herrera BeutlerOvernight Finance: Dems explore lawsuit against Trump | Full-court press for Trump tax plan | Clock ticks down to spending deadline Overnight Healthcare: New GOP health bill on life support | ObamaCare insurer threatens to leave over subsidies New ObamaCare repeal bill on life support MORE (Wash.) and John Katko (N.Y.), all centrists who had reservations about the earlier ObamaCare repeal bill that was pulled from a floor vote because of a lack of GOP support.
On top of that, a trio of usually reliable Republicans — Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (Calif.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) — told the Hill that they were undecided on the new bill after saying they were “yes” votes on the earlier legislation.
“I’m absolutely undecided,” Diaz-Balart, a member of the GOP whip team, told The Hill. “I was a yes before but there are a lot of red flags” with the revised bill.
It’s unclear how dozens of other Republicans would vote on the new bill, but the number of Republicans opposed or leaning against the bill is enough to raise real questions about whether it can be passed by the House in its current form.
Twenty-three GOP defections would be enough to kill Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal-and-replacement plan, assuming every House Democrat votes against it.
The Hill’s Scott Wong has more here: http://bit.ly/2qkbeRC
And click here for The Hill’s full Whip List on the revised bill: http://bit.ly/2pmYpIX
Healthcare groups denounce revised GOP health bill
Leading healthcare and advocacy groups are urging Congress not to pass the revised Republican ObamaCare replacement bill, fearing that changes could harm those with pre-existing conditions.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) all denounced the revised bill on Thursday. The groups were already opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), saying that millions would lose coverage, but raised new concerns about an amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).
“We are deeply concerned that the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage,” AMA President Dr. James Madara wrote in a letter. “Nothing in the MacArthur amendment remedies the shortcomings of the underlying bill.”
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2pmvYIY
CBO won’t have score on revised ObamaCare bill next week
The budget scorekeeper for Congress is apparently a few weeks away from releasing an analysis of the GOP’s revised ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office Thursday that a score of the bill would not be ready this week or next.
The score would detail the impacts the American Health Care Act could have on ObamaCare enrollees.
Republicans have talked of holding a vote on the healthcare bill soon, following the crucial endorsement of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. If a vote is held, lawmakers could vote on the bill before knowing the estimated effects it would have.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qcIOwq
ObamaCare insurer threatens to leave
A top ObamaCare insurer is threatening to drop out of the exchanges if it doesn’t receive key payments from Congress.
Molina Healthcare, which serves more than 1 million ObamaCare enrollees, warned lawmakers Thursday it will leave the exchanges if it doesn’t receive its cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, payments that reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income people.
“If the CSR is not funded, we will have no choice but to send a notice of default informing the government that we are dropping our contracts for their failure to pay premiums and seek to withdraw from the marketplace immediately,” Molina CEO Mario Molina said in a letter to GOP and Democratic leadership.
“That would result in about 650,000 to 700,000 people losing insurance coverage in 2017, and we would not participate in Marketplace in 2018, resulting in over 1 million Americans losing health insurance coverage.”
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2oNT7C9
Trump’s FDA nominee clears Senate committee
President Trump’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared a key Senate hurdle Thursday, putting him on track for a full Senate confirmation vote.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced Scott Gottlieb’s nomination for FDA commissioner to the Senate floor on a 14-9 vote.
Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Overnight Healthcare: New GOP health bill on life support | ObamaCare insurer threatens to leave over subsidies Trump’s FDA nominee clears key Senate committee MORE (R-Tenn.) lauded Gottlieb for his experience and dismissed concerns from some Democrats over any potential conflicts of interest from Gottlieb’s ties to health companies.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qbMVWx
Dems issue shutdown threat over ObamaCare repeal vote
House Democrats will oppose a short-term spending bill if Republican leaders attempt to expedite an ObamaCare repeal bill this week, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) warned Thursday.
Hoyer, the Democratic whip, spoke with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Thursday morning to warn him of the Democrats’ position.
The threat is significant because GOP leaders will likely need Democratic votes to pass a short-term spending bill in the face of opposition from conservatives historically opposed to government funding bills.
“If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week Continuing Resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well,” Hoyer said in an email.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2qjt2MA
GOP moves to kill exemption for Congress in healthcare bill
Republican leadership has moved to cut controversial language from its healthcare bill that would exempt Congress and their staff from changes to ObamaCare.
An amendment to the House GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill would have allowed states to seek waivers for certain ObamaCare regulations, but lawmakers and their staff would be exempt from the changes.
A new bill authored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) would remove the exemption.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2oAu4aC
What we’re reading
Rural doctors’ training may be in jeopardy (khn.org)
Startup Moderna shows promise in vaccine trial (Wall Street Journal)
Propublica investigation finds nursing homes waste tons of prescription drugs (NPR)
State by state
California single-payer healthcare bill passes first committee test (Los Angeles Times)
Maine seeking Medicaid work requirements (modernhealthcare.com)
Wisconsin disability advocates speak out against proposed Medicaid changes (madison.com)