WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law (all times local):
Congressional Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence have wrapped up a late-night meeting over efforts to resurrect the moribund House Republican health care bill.
Pence and other top administration officials have offered to let states request federal exemptions from insurance coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
But participants Tuesday say differences remain over giving states flexibility to drop those mandates. Meetings will continue Wednesday.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina says, “It was a very good exchange of ideas, with concerns that represent the very broad spectrum of our conference.” Meadows leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose roughly three dozen members have largely opposed the GOP legislation for not repealing enough of Obama’s law.
Speaker Paul Ryan says Republicans are talking about reviving the failed health care bill, but he declined to offer a timetable for a vote.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican said there are ongoing talks that are “at the concept stage right now.” He said it would be premature to say where the legislation stands or how much support it could garner.
Two weeks after the GOP bill crashed spectacularly, the White House made an offer to conservatives to resuscitate the legislation. Vice President Mike Pence and two top White House officials made the offer Monday night in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus.
Several Republicans emerging from the closed-door GOP caucus Tuesday morning said they weren’t ready to sign on to any deal.
Said Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho: “I think it would be a mistake to rush it.”
Conservative House Republicans are entertaining a White House offer to revise the party’s failed health care bill. One leading moderate said the proposal could win over lawmakers from that wing of the GOP as well.
Vice President Mike Pence and two top White House officials made the offer Monday night in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus, participants said. Opposition from the hard-line group, which has around three dozen conservative Republicans, contributed to circumstances that forced House Speaker Paul Ryan to withdraw the bill from a March 24 vote that would have produced a certain defeat.
Under the White House offer, states would be allowed to apply for waivers from several coverage requirements that President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law imposed on insurers.
These would include waivers from the provision that obliges insurers to cover so-called “essential health benefits,” including mental health, maternity and substance abuse services. The White House offer would also let states seek an exemption to the law’s requirement that insurers must offer coverage to people with serious diseases.
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