Now what? The next steps for health care legislation

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 28, 2017

The top Democrat in the House said the health law is fine and that the only threat to it is Trump, who could use his regulatory authority to undermine its structure and create a "self-fulling prophecy" of collapse.

Republicans voted more than 50 times while Barack Obama was still president to toss out the law.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," the NY senator says: "We never said it was ideal". And now when we are in the majority, it continues to be the opposition caucus against anything in the Republican party. "We can not be effective if we continue to vote no".

The caucus is "concerned about procedure, but also concerned about procedure because they're concerned about policy", said Dr Laura Blessing, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Government Affairs Institute. "We need to be on a team and get a good product".

The party's conservative Senate trio of Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas - each of whom had rejected the House bill for not repealing enough of Obamacare and not cutting premiums - have still held out hope of passing a full repeal, even as Trump sounded ready to move on. "We just said repeal was off the table". "I'm going to be a "no" even if it sends me home", he said.

Payne also argued that if House Republicans can unite and pass important bills in the coming weeks, the health care bill failure will quickly fade from memory. It would have voided its tax penalties on people for not buying insurance, tax increases on high earners and health industry firms, and expansion of Medicaid for low-income people.

Because their plan keeps most of the Affordable Care Act's revenue - rather than the House bill's $1 trillion tax cut - Cassidy and Collins can offer individuals and states a more generous alternative.

Trump initially focused blame for the measure's failure on Democrats and predicted a dire future for the current law. On Sunday Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!"

I have resigned from the House Freedom Caucus.

Tax reform and infrastructure spending are next, but the same GOP divisions loom, and Democrats, sensing weakness in the White House defeat, appear as opposed to Mr. Trump's agenda - possibly more so. Whether he would work to fix Obama's law was a big question.

After all that winning, former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour cast the GOP as an expansive party with multiple factions. "I think it's grown to 90 percent or better", Brady told reporters Monday. And she said Democrats would be eager to work with Trump on giving the government more power to negotiate prescription drug prices.

That unnerved GOP moderates, especially those in districts won by Democrat Hillary Clinton previous year, who were anxious about tens of thousands of constituents losing Medicaid or older voters being forced to pay more.

Feeling emboldened by an outcome that strengthened her otherwise weak hand, the Minority Leader said she's open to working with Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan on health care - but that it will have to be on Democrats' terms.

New York Rep. Chris Collins, an early Trump backer in the campaign, echoed the bill's supporters in chiding opponents for not seizing the opportunity to deliver on the perennial campaign promise.

On Saturday, Trump urged Americans in a tweet to watch Judge Jeanine Pirro's program on Fox News that night.

Assuming a bill gets no Democratic support, Ryan can not afford to lose a mere 23 Republican votes. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday said such a package could include middle-class tax cuts.

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