Down But Not Out: Trump Aides, GOP Lawmakers Meet to Revive PPACA Repeal

White House offers state waivers to angry conservatives

Top federal officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, met with moderate and conservative House Republicans at the White House to revise the blueprint for repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Pence then travelled to Capital Hill to talk with members of the far-right Freedom Caucus, who derailed President Trump’s health care agenda last month.

Pence and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus laid out a revised plan during a 40-minute meeting with Freedom Caucus members. Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), leader of the group, said he was “intrigued” by the new legislation, which would allow states to opt out of some of the PPACA’s mandates, possibly by obtaining waivers.

In an earlier meeting with the moderate Tuesday Group, White House officials said the new plan would preserve the PPACA’s “essential health benefits” clause––services and care that insurers must cover––but states could apply for a waiver if they could show it would improve coverage and reduce costs, Representative Chris Collins (R-New York), a member of the Tuesday Group, told Reuters.

Trump aides also discussed moving money from the $115 billion stability fund for states into high-risk pools for people with pre-existing health conditions to better ensure that the costs of insurance premiums come down, Collins said.

Sources: Reuters; April 3, 2017.