Week ahead: House heads for Thursday vote on ObamaCare repeal

Texas Reps. John Ratcliffe and Blake Farenthold meet with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office along with other members of the Republican Study Committee to talk about the proposed American

Meanwhile, a key conservative senator said White House officials were continuing to negotiate through the weekend on even more dramatic revisions to the bill in hopes of winning over hard-liners who have threatened to tank the legislation.

During Sunday's interview, House Speaker Ryan was asked about the specific CBO estimate that projects in 10 years a 64-year-old with $26,500 in annual income, paying $1,700 in yearly premiums under the ACA, would eventually pay $14,600 under the AHCA.

Despite the tweaks Ryan said the bill needs, he added that he feels "very good" about the legislation's progress and where things now stand.

"We believe that we do need to add some additional assistance to people in those older cohorts", Ryan said of the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, on "Fox News Sunday". Skeptical Senate Republicans, like Ted Cruz of Texas, said the current legislation is dead on arrival. Here is the central prize: "If we lower premiums, and hopefully lower them a lot, that is a victory for the American people".

"I can not vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising", Cruz said, echoing the concerns of other hard-line lawmakers who want the legislation to undo more of the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandates.

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, said the Trump administration was open to changes to address the effects on older Americans and other concerns.

They also worry the plan would leave too many people uninsured, pointing to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis that estimated 24 million people would lose coverage over 10 years. And because the ACA restricted insurers' ability to "age-rate" - or charge much higher premiums for older individuals - repealing the bill will cause an initial increase in premiums for low-income seniors not yet on Medicare. They also complain that the GOP bill's tax credits create an overly generous benefit the federal government can not afford.

Trump met last week with members of the Republican Study Committee and assured two small changes would be made to the bill.

Paul said Monday to a group of Louisville business leaders that he hoped the Republican bill would fail so that "true negotiations" could begin.

"They still believe that the conservatives in their caucus don't want Obamacare Lite", he said. We're still having conversations with our members. Republicans hold a majority in the chamber but can not afford to have more than 21 defections for the measure to pass. "We're making fine tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements", he told Mr. Wallace, adding he is impressed at how President Donald Trump is "helping us close this bill".

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