White House pushes uncertain bid to revive health care bill

Andrew Harnik Associated Press	 White House budget director Mick Mulvaney spoke at the White House in Washington

The colleagues he has spoken with appear "cautiously optimistic", Cole added.

"The president has been quoted several times and said he's inclined not to make them and I can't tell you that I'm interested in dissuading him from that position", Mulvaney said.

"They have yet another agreement in principle, but no final legislative language", the member told CNN. "As soon as we solve that, we can have a vote", the official said.

"We're doing very well on health care ... the plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good and a lot of people are liking it a lot", President Donald Trump said.

The proposal is not much different than ideas discussed before Congress left town for its current two-week Easter recess and it's unclear whether it does enough to convince both moderate and conservative opponents to support the bill. The regulations they hate are what make sure coverage actually addresses people's healthcare needs, including pre-existing conditions.

After the administration's initial failure to pass the bill through the House of Representatives, the White House hopes new changes to the bill will please the conservative holdouts in the Freedom Caucus.

The elimination of premiums for pre-existing conditions is among the most popular elements of the Affordable Care Act. The GOP health-care bill as it stands would instead allow states to spell out essential health benefits.

Huffington Post reports that the deal "would allow states to get waivers eliminating the so-called community rating provision ― the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions".

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"States must attest that the goal of their requested waiver is to reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions", the plan says.

Policy analysts also say high-risk pools will likely need even more funding to work, and that scrapping essential health benefits comes with pitfalls. Any states that allow insurers to charge consumers more based on health status would also have to set up a high-risk pool to assist those affected. There's no mention of Medicaid in the new deal, and cut backs on Medicaid funding in the last health care bill was a major issue for many moderates.

But an increasing number of GOP lawmakers have been voicing new concerns, amid a widespread public backlash against the House legislation. And yet multiple House Republican sources told Politico that this is unlikely, as the House is now in recess and doesn't return until four days before that deadline.

The nation's top medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, also have rejected the GOP's "repeal and replace" bill.

He insisted that he has only spent two months of his time in office working on am Obamacare replacement strategy, while his predecessor's signature legislative achievement took 17 months to develop and become law.

A new Quinnipiac poll found that only 36% of American voters say Republicans in Congress should try again to repeal and replace Obamacare, while 60% say the Republicans should "move on".

On Monday, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., announced that he would not support his party's health care legislation unless it left significant parts of Obamacare intact.