GOP health care bill 'guarantees' coverage for pre-existing conditions

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Critics complain the new bill would allow states to gut mandates for essential health benefits - and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

"Congress obviously wasn't ready to begin the process of repealing Obamacare a little more than a month ago", Vice President Mike Pence said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

And as they try to whip up enough GOP caucus members to pass their bill, Republicans leaders are dealing with a president, Donald Trump, who is making confusing statements about what the bill will, and won't, do.

A temporary funding bill expires Friday at midnight, and GOP leaders late Wednesday came out with a short-term spending bill through May 5 to prevent a government shutdown this weekend.

Back in the House, the difficulty of the more immediate hurdles was as clear to advocates of the proposal as to its detractors. All Democrats have to do is point to the spending bill and repeat ad nauseum, "Unlike Republicans, when we were the minority party, we absolutely worked with the party in power to pass a budget that gave both sides some of what they wanted. He said, out of respect, he'd definitely listen to them and consider it", Spicer said.

During a separate interview on "CBS This Morning", Priebus was also asked if a health care bill will happen this week. On the one hand, it really is an awesome victory for the Democratic Party, on the other, it allows Republicans to increase military spending (by half of what they wanted), reduce the EPA's funding by 1% which is more than symbolic ($86 million ain't nothing to sneeze at) but less than serious and money is going to fix up already existing infrastructure on the southern border.

Under Obama's 2010 law, insurers may not charge seriously ill customers more than healthy ones.

For example, the CBPP's April 27 report explained that this amendment to the healthcare bill could mean "premiums exceeding $100,000 per year for people with metastatic cancer, premiums in the tens of thousands per year for people who are pregnant or need treatment for substance use disorders, and large premium increases for people with common pre-existing conditions like asthma, depression, or diabetes".

Most notably, Rep. Billy Long, a Republican from Missouri who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, announced he was opposed to the legislation. "And for those of us who are a no, it just reinforced our position since we believe it made the bill worse so we stayed nos. We're getting there", said Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, a moderate Republican who brokered the deal that revived the healthcare legislation.

The White House has been pressuring House Republicans to push ahead with legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, after a first effort failed in March in a stunning setback for the Trump administration.

Support from moderate Republicans will likely be needed to get the House of Representatives to the 216 votes it needs for passage. Many consider the bill will be dead on arrival in its current form.

"But he's signed 30 different executive orders on virtually every one of those topics that you just referred to", Pence said.

"And I will be so angry at Congressman Kelly and Congressman Marino and all of our congressman in this room if we don't get that damn thing passed quickly", President Trump said. Those numbers can change with lobbying by the White House, House leaders and industry groups. "Will have much lower premiums & deductibles while at the same time taking care of pre-existing conditions!" He wouldn't say whether she would support the bill as now written.

The Republicans, meanwhile, would have states set up "high-risk pools" for some of those with pre-existing conditions - but some observers fear that the cost of such coverage could be hugely expensive.

Another Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that a majority of Americans - 53 percent - say they or someone in their household has a pre-existing condition. Also, insurers would be able to charge higher premiums to those with medical issues if they let their coverage lapse.

In fact, 35 states once had "high-risk pools".

At least nineof California's 14 House Republicans so far have declined to publicly endorse the latest version of the American Health Care Act, the work-in-progress designed as the GOP alternative to the Obama administration's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.