Talks Continue as Republicans Face Questions on Obamacare

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden R-Ore. center one of the stewards of the Republican healthcare legislation walks through Statuary Hall after

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden R-Ore. center one of the stewards of the Republican healthcare legislation walks through Statuary Hall after

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer promised Tuesday that negotiators are still working behind the scenes to bring together the centrist and far-right wings of the House Republicans to approve a health care bill.

"Preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions is one of the most popular parts of ObamaCare".

A chief of staff to a moderate House Republican questioned the need to try to force a deal on health care using roughly the same legislative package that many GOP members rejected last month.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who has been speaking to Vice President Pence and top aides to Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP centrists push back on ObamaCare repeal Dems link ObamaCare payments to shutdown fight McConnell: "Hopefully" tax reform will pass this year MORE (R-Wis.), said this week that "we're very close" to a healthcare deal. But we can be sure that whatever happens, it's going to be close.

Meadows and fellow members of the House Freedom Caucus have been urging Republican leaders to put forth legislation that tackles the rising cost of health insurance premiums.

White House efforts to appease staunch conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have been broadly credited with sinking the first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare last month.

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"What I'm getting to him is based on conversations that I've had with (Tuesday Group co-chairman) Tom MacArthur and leadership, but I wouldn't say that it's approved at this point", he told the paper. Butterfield said Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on improving the Affordable Care Act, but repealing it, he said, is "un-American'".

Joining Dent and Meadows, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is also getting in on the health care talks. The only victor in both cases would be further growth of government bureaucracy, and the large health systems and insurance companies (special interests) feeding at the trough of taxpayer subsidies - probably the real reason for the Republican establishment's lost zeal for repeal.

During Congress's current spring recess, GOP lawmakers have faced pressure from constituents at town halls to vote against repeal and protect the pre-existing condition provisions.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said before recess it was possible the lower chamber could be called back into session to vote on the bill if they strike a deal. "We feel very buoyed by the direction this is going".

Before members left Washington, Republicans unveiled a late change to the health care bill, called the American Health Care Act, after President Donald Trump urged them to make some progress on the proposal.

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