Republicans revamp U.S. health bill to help older Americans

Mar 20, 2017, 00:24
Republicans revamp U.S. health bill to help older Americans

The GOP healthcare plan will be updated to include more generous tax credits for older Americans to buy insurance, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday, noting that he's confident it will pass because President Trump "has become a great closer".

Representative Paul Ryan also said that the improved and refined USA health care bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million by 2026 as it reduces the deficit by $337 billion.

Last Friday, the White House won support from conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) leaders by agreeing to give states the option to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients and to block grant Medicaid instead of the cap system in the bill.

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Ryan and President Trump have been scrambling for days to try to salvage the House GOP plan to replace Obamacare with a more conservative, market-oriented approach and the gradual phasing out of expanded Medicaid coverage in 31 states and the District of Columbia. That's because the GOP plan would offer only $4,900 in tax credits, compared to $13,600 under Obamacare subsides.

"We believe we should have more assistance, and that's what we are looking at, for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs", Ryan said. The bill adds complicated tax issues, health savings accounts, seemingly arbitrary tax credits and other obstacles including the re-institution of rescission, that make having to deal with already debilitating health issues exponentially more complex and hard. Representative Paul Ryan plans to bring the Republican US health care bill to the House floor for voting as early as next week. "We're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns". "He's the one who has helped negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus".

"I feel very good about it, actually", Ryan said of having the necessary votes Thursday. "But is the major decrease in the number of people - according to the CBO - who will have health insurance, is it freedom or is it that some people will no longer be able to afford health insurance under your plan?" "We need to roll up our sleeves and focus on fixing those problems, rather than trying to rush to some arbitrary deadline".