House GOP leaders: We’re confident Obamacare repeal will pass in Thursday vote

WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS News) – The House will make a second attempt Thursday to repeal Obamacare. This time, Republican leaders say it will not fail. After weeks of uncertainty and cajoling and negotiating, they say they now have the requisite votes from within their own party to pass their plan.

President Trump and his congressional allies agreed to add billions of dollars in funding to the bill, CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports. That change persuaded some Republican moderates to shift from “no” to “yes.” Those members say the added money will protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

But it did not persuade House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who calls the measure a “moral monstrosity.” Democrats say it’s being rushed through without key details about the cost of the impact on Americans with pre-existing conditions, or a score from the Congressional Budget Office.

GOP leaders and the vice president have spent the past three days leaning hard on undecided Republicans. Some holdouts were swayed by last minute tweaks and talks with the president.

“I’m happy to announce that the people of the 7th district of Missouri will have pre-existing conditions covered adequately with this addition that we just talked the president into,” said Rep. Billy Long.

The GOP plan would reduce Obamacare’s subsidies for lower income Americans, and eliminate the taxes on the wealthy used to pay for them. Instead, people making less than $75,000 a year would get age-based tax credits.

The bill seeks to lower premiums by allowing states to opt out of Obamacare’s minimum coverage rules, which includes maternity care and emergency services.

States could also allow insurers to charge higher rates for some with pre-existing conditions — but only if those states set up high risk pools to help people afford it.

It also includes language that prohibits federal funding for “essential community providers,” like Planned Parenthood.

Democrats note the plan has been panned by a number of major interest groups, including the American Medical Association, AARP, and the American Cancer Society. But Republicans argue Obamacare has it’s own problems, with insurance providers pulling out every month.

The consensus of most experts is that this Republican plan might save money for people who are younger, healthier, and wealthier, but drive up costs for older and sicker Americans.

There are few House Republicans out there arguing this is a great bill. Their main goal is to pass something on to the Senate, and let that chamber make major changes.

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