The tweaks are aimed at protecting “high-risk” patients before lawmakers leave Washington for their two-week spring break, according to an administration official and a House leadership aide.
The House Rules Committee is making last-minute plans to hold a meeting Thursday to consider an amendment to create a new risk-sharing fund for the seriously ill.
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The AHCA bill would change Affordable Care Act spending and funding provisions, and possibly some other provisions.
The move doesn’t indicate the overall bill will go to the floor immediately, but committee action on the amendment is intended to show momentum toward a deal on a bill is building, said the aide. Both the aide and the administration official requested that their names not be used.
Efforts by the Rules Committee to suddenly unveil and rush to adopt an amendment to a bill — without time for anyone to read it or any immediate intent to take the measure to the House floor — is highly unusual. But it reflects the strong desire by the White House to demonstrate that the effort to repeal Obamacare isn’t dead, despite the embarrassing setback last month when Republican leaders had to pull the bill from the House floor right before a scheduled vote. Further details of the provision were not immediately available, but it is sponsored by Representatives Dave Schweikert of Arizona and Gary Palmer of Alabama, both members of the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative group that some other House Republicans have been blaming for blocking a deal on a final bill.
But the change, along with several others that conservatives discussed with White House officials, appears to be winning over at least a few conservative holdouts.