Trump, health secretary fight for votes on USA healthcare overhaul

Posted March 18, 2017

"I want to let the world know: I am 100 percent in favor", he said of the legislation.

"This president is getting deeply involved", Ryan said at a news briefing.

One doubts that all of the members of the RSC were so adamantly opposed to the bill before they talked with the administration.

Moderates "don't like the idea of taking a vote in the House that may go nowhere in the Senate", said congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

The four governors said they support "fundamental reform" of Medicaid, outlining an alternative approach that would give states the option to embrace their own reform or stick with the current formula with less federal money. Some have said they want a quicker end to Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid, while others are concerned about insurance costs for consumers.

In tinkering around the edges, leadership is optimistic that they can cobble together enough votes from both corners of their party to pass their legislation Thursday and move it onto the Senate where it faces another set of challenges and even more narrow math.

The agreement would also allow states to decide to accept a lump-sum federal payment for Medicaid, instead of an amount that would grow with the number of beneficiaries.

On Wednesday night, Republican leaders also got underway with its first official whip count. though leaders and whips have had ongoing conversations with members for weeks and since the bill has come out.

The three GOP representatives were the first Republican votes against the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare since the bill's introduction last week.

"On balance and with the changes we agreed to in the bill's final text, I can vote for it", Walker said in a statement afterward.

Top Democrat Says Bharara May Have Been Fired For Investigating Trump
Bharara's removal came as a shock to many as he was asked by Trump in November previous year to stay on with his government. Obama had asked Bob Gates, who was appointed by President George W Bush, to continue as his secretary of defense.

Among those accepting the agreement was Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., leader of the Republican Study Committee, a large group of House conservatives. That left House members angry over being asked to take a politically risky vote for legislation likely to be altered. "Members who desire to see this bill improved have every right to make their voices heard", Black said in her opening statement.

All the while, Trump continues to say the bill needs work to get past Congress, adding to the uncertainty for lawmakers.

Kentucky GOP Rep. Andy Barr, who was leaning against the bill, but is now supporting it after the meeting this morning told reporters said "absolutely it helps" that the President was so personally engaged this morning.

"These changes definitely strengthen our numbers", said the House GOP's top vote counter, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, among those who met Friday with Trump.

And some of the most conservative Republicans, those in the Freedom Caucus, remain unpersuaded.

One example of why they won't be swayed: the optional work requirement provision. However, more alterations could very well occur between now and next week. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a fresh indication of uncertainty.

Ryan told reporters that he and the other Republican leaders could now make "some necessary improvements and refinements" to the legislation, reflecting an urgency to buttress support.

Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas sent a letter Thursday to Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing concerns about the plan's potential effect on their states.

"It provides nearly no new flexibility for states, does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out and shifts significant new costs to states", wrote the governors, including Snyder, John Kasich of Ohio, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said he'd been assured by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the bill's tax credit would be adjusted to focus more benefits on lower-income people.