Paul Ryan: AHCA has to do more for older Americans

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-Texas and the House Budget Committee works on the Republican health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday March 16 2017

"We feel very good where we are", the Wisconsin Republican said on "Fox News Sunday".

"The older person - the person in their 50s and 60s - does have additional healthcare costs than, say, a person in their 20s and 30s". "I feel it's exactly where we want to be". "There's no doubt about it", Price responded, acknowledging changes made to the bill to win over conservatives could scare off moderate Republicans.

The USA Today reported that US President Donald Trump is getting deeply involved to bridge the gap in the current American Health Care Act to make it easier for him to push the new US health care bill through the House of Congress.

Even as Ryan said he felt "very good" about the health bill's prospects in the House, a leading conservative lawmaker told the C-Span "Newsmakers" program that there were now 40 Republican "no" votes in the House. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also said regulatory changes in particular could increase competition in markets. Addressing all the concerns is "what tough legislation looks like".

Representative Mark Meadows, the chairman of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the bill would "absolutely not" pass the way it is now.

The Congressional Budget Office predicted this week about 24 million fewer Americans would be insured under the Republican healthcare plan by 2026 largely by eliminating the individual mandate and curbing Medicaid growth. Conservatives would want the cap to be lifted to allow Americans to afford insurance, especially in states where the cost of insurance is disproportionately high. As the bill now stands, older, poorer Americans will have far less help from Republican tax credits starting in 2020 than they get through Obamacare subsidies.

While Republicans have largely panned the CBO report as an incomplete analysis, the concern for older Americans has seemed to stick. Votes House Speaker Paul Ryan needs to pass the bill.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME said she was concerned about a report from the Congressional Budget Office that said 14 million people would lose health coverage under the House bill over the next year and 24 million over the next decade.

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