Washington – US House Republicans are working on changes
to their healthcare overhaul bill to provide more
generous tax credits for older Americans and add
a work requirement for the Medicaid programme for
the poor, House Speaker Paul Ryan, said.
Media reports quoted Ryan on Monday as saying that Republican leaders still planned to
bring the healthcare bill to a vote on the House of
Representatives floor on Thursday.
Ryan said leaders were working to address concerns
that had been raised by rank-and-file Republicans
to the legislation.
Republicans remain deeply divided over the
healthcare overhaul, which is President Donald
Trump’s first major legislative initiative.
Democrats say the Republican plan could throw
millions off health insurance and hurt the elderly,
poor and working families while giving tax cuts to
“We think we should be offering even more
assistance than the bill currently does” for lower-
income people age 50 to 64, Ryan, the top
Republican in Congress, said of the tax credits for
health insurance that are proposed in the
Ryan also said Republicans were working on
changes that would allow federal block grants to
states for Medicaid and permit states to impose a
work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid
Trump told reporters in a brief conversation
aboard Air Force One that he had meetings about
healthcare reform in Florida at the weekend and
that the effort to sell the proposal was going well.
He has been wooing lawmakers to vote for the bill
and won the backing of a dozen conservative
lawmakers on Friday after an Oval Office meeting
in which the president endorsed a work
requirement and block-grant option for Medicaid.
Trump is set to meet Ezekiel Emanuel, a health
policy special adviser under Obama who helped
shape the Affordable Care Acton, at the White
House on Monday, along with Ryan and Health
and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Block grants would give states a set amount of
money to cover people on the Medicaid programme
and provide flexibility in spending decisions.
However, there is no guarantee funding would
keep up with future demands.