Republican leaders unveil changes to healthcare bill

Republican leaders unveil changes to healthcare bill
Republican leaders unveil changes to healthcare bill

WASHINGTON: House Republican leaders unveiled a set of changes to modify their ObamaCare or Affordable Care Act replacement bill, as they seek to win more votes for the legislation, a media report said.

The changes issued on Monday night mark efforts by Republican leaders and the White House to appease both conservatives and moderates who have expressed reservations about the legislation called the American Health Care Act, CNN said in the report.

Many of the changes would make additional revisions to Medicaid -- a programme that has provided coverage to more than 10 million people in 31 states -- that were pushed by conservative members.

One addition would give states the option of requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, participate in job training programmes or do community service.

The revised legislation would also allow states to opt to receive federal Medicaid funding as a block grant for the adults and children in their programme.

The current bill calls for giving states a set amount of money per enrollee, known as a per capita cap system. Funding for elderly and disabled participants would be based on enrollment.

Another alteration would immediately prevent states from expanding Medicaid.

Under the first version of the legislation, enhanced funding for Medicaid would be repealed as of January 1, 2020, but nothing barred states from expanding the programme before that, the CNN report added.

The legislation will be taken up on Wednesday by the House Rules Committee and set to be voted on by the House on Thursday -- the seven-year anniversary of former President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Monday night: "With the President's leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare."

"With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled," The Hill magazine quoted Ryan as saying.

On Tuesday morning, the President will visit Capitol Hill in an attempt to seal House Republican support for the plan.

Republican leaders unveil changes to healthcare bill