Health care read more

Republicans think twice

Paul Ryan says Obamacare replacement bill should actually help older Americans more

Paul Ryan says Obamacare replacement bill should actually help older Americans more

House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday that he’s looking to change the current version of the GOP replacement for Obamacare because the bill needs to do more to address the healthcare needs of older Americans.

“We believe we should have even more assistance — and that’s one of the things we’re looking at — for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher healthcare costs,” Ryan told host Chris Wallace during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” Ryan said that lawmakers are changing the bill to provide better tax credits for older Americans — and added that they’re also considering whether to allow states to institute a work requirement for Medicaid.

Ryan’s appearance came in the midst of mounting skepticism about the plan among rank-and-file Republicans. According to Reuters, a senior Republican lawmaker claims there are currently 40 “No” votes in the House. Assuming no Democrat is going to vote in favor, Republicans could afford only 21 dissentions if the bill is to pass and move on to the Senate, where it also faces considerable opposition.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said the bill would “absolutely not” pass in its current form.

More moderate Republicans also have issues with the bill. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said in a Facebook post Saturday night that while he believes the Affordable Care Act is “broken,” he wouldn’t vote for the Republican bill in its current form, citing its impact on the “single most important issue plaguing” his constituents, “opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.”

The bill is still scheduled to be brought to the floor for a vote on March 23.

M-F 7:30PM HBO