Republicans Determined to Act on Health Care - But How?


Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Trump's tweets amid the health care debate as making his job "more challenging".

"Comprehensive tax reform represents the single most important action we can take now to grow the economy and help middle-class families get ahead", McConnell said.

Trump drew thousands to a rally in Huntington Thursday night, celebrating the decision Thursday by West Virginia's Democratic governor, Jim Justice, to change party affiliation and become a Republican.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is crafting a bill that would appropriate the cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments Trump is now making on a month-by-month basis for a full year, giving the insurance industry a measure of stability as they decide their 2018 rates and the counties where they will offer plans. Those meetings also ultimately scuttled Ryan's original hopes of including a controversial new tax on imports that he had hoped would raise new revenue to pay for cuts elsewhere.

"These senators need to go to their Tuesday lunch huddle, decided how they are going to address this and then come out and say 'This is what we are going to do and what we are going to send back to the House, '" says Republican Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. That's what we did with the Affordable Care Act.

Some of the broad proposals include reducing the number of personal income tax brackets, and lowering the corporate rate as low as 15 percent - which the president has called for in the past.

Several Republican and Democrat lawmakers agree that Congress needs to prevent a collapse of the health insurance market, which could hurt millions of consumers - and that concern has opened up some bipartisan dialogue.

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Lawmakers hope to approve a bipartisan bill speeding federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas and boosting energy sources and efficiency. The president is angry about what the Republican-led Congress couldn't do - repeal Obamacare - as well as one of the few things it did: approve a Russian Federation sanctions bill he detests.

The Senate then chose to consider a "skinny repeal bill", officially named the Health Care Freedom Act, which would have eliminated the ACA's individual mandate, delayed the employer mandate until 2025, allowed states greater flexibility in implementing market reforms such as essential health benefits and out-of-pocket spending limits, and increased Health Savings Account limits for three years, among other changes. "Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this". They want to enact "fixes" to Obamacare that would enshrine this colossal health care failure into permanent law. Mark Warner, D-Va., "If they use reconciliation they're not going to have a very easy path". So even if Republicans had managed to pass health care reform themselves, it wouldn't have succeeded and wouldn't have lasted.

The White House has "learned how hard it is to thread the needle with 52 senators", Short said.

It was the second day in a row that Trump ripped the Congress on both issues, and GOP lawmakers were happy to return fire.

Already, staff is working on draft legislation. "And under the leadership of President Trump, the White House and Treasury have met with over 200 members of the House and Senate and hundreds of grassroots and business groups to talk and listen to ideas about tax reform", the statement said. Administration officials, he said, have had discussions with vulnerable Senate and House Democrats.

Besides, when major policies are passed by only one party, as Obamacare was, two things can happen.