Trump ramps up fight for votes on U.S. healthcare overhaul

As a retired hospital CEO and current board member of both a nonprofit national health system and a nonprofit health insurance company, I have been asked my insider view of Affordable Care Act and Trump-led "repeal and replace" efforts now underway.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will join House Democrats on Wednesday to rally together to save Obamacare the day before House Republicans vote on their repeal plan.

RSC Chairman Mark Walker said Friday the group had not taken a formal vote on whether to support the bill, but 16 steering committee members at the meeting with Trump committed to voting for it when it comes to the floor next Thursday. He also noted that the revisions will likely allow for federal block grants to states for Medicaid and permit states to add a work requirement for Medicaid recipients.

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The Republican leaders are still planning to present the healthcare bill to a vote on the House of Representatives on Thursday. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said his boss "shares (governors') concerns about the need to protect the Medicaid expansion population and give governors more flexibility to ensure they can design programs that meet the needs of their states".

Trump administration officials - including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma - have been meeting with GOP lawmakers in an attempt to help gain support for the American Health Care Act over the course of the past two months.

"We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill now does for lower-income people age 50 to 64", Ryan said.

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Conservative Republicans who met Trump said he agreed to changes on the Medicaid government insurance program for the poor.

The healthcare bill would face significant challenges in the Senate even if it were to pass the House.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance next year under the Republican plan.

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Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME anxious the bill would harm older Americans, and shift Medicaid costs to states-something critics say a block-grant approach would only make worse. The association represents BCBS insurers that cover the vast majority of the roughly 10 million people enrolled in 2017 Obamacare plans.

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