Ryan: GOP health bill changes will help seniors
The Republican healthcare plan moving rapidly toward a crucial House vote this week is likely to be changed to give older Americans more assistance to buy insurance, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Sunday.
“We think that we should be offering even more assistance than what the bill currently does,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview, in which he confirmed that House leaders are eyeing a Thursday vote on its passage.
Ryan’s vow to do more to help older Americans came after a third House moderate said Saturday that he could not support the bill “in its current form.”
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., who represents a suburban Philadelphia district heavily targeted by Democrats, said in a Facebook post that he was most concerned that the legislation would roll back efforts to prevent and treat opioid abuse.
Lawmakers from across the GOP’s ideological spectrum have expressed fears that the American Health Care Act will not drive down prices. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Leonard Lance, R-N.J., have cited that concern in announcing their opposition to the bill, and several other moderates remain undecided.
Those fears were stoked last week by a Congressional Budget Office analysis that forecast a short-term increase in premiums under the GOP law, and while premiums are expected to drop by roughly 10 percent over a 10-year horizon, some older and low-income people would face massive premium hikes.
Ryan expressed confidence that the bill would pass the House this week and then move to the Senate, where the legislation is facing even sharper doubts and the GOP majority is much narrower.