Key House GOP leader opposes new health-care deal

Key House GOP leader opposes new health-care deal
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the largest bloc of House conservatives is criticizing a bipartisan deal in the Senate that would extend critical payments for ObamaCare to insurers, arguing it will help prop up a law the GOP vowed to dismantle.

Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) also argued “ObamaCare is in a 'death spiral.' "

"Anything propping it up is only saving what Republicans promised to dismantle,” he tweeted.

The proposal worked out by Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families MORE (D-Wash.) would extend payments compensating insurers for lowering the out-of-pockets costs of certain Obamacare enrollees for two years.

Trump announced last week he was ending those payments, arguing the Obama administration never had the power to make them.

Supporters of ObamaCare argue that premiums will rise and enrollment will likely fall without the payments, and have pressed Congress to take action.

But the opposition from Walker is significant, and suggests Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Kelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) could run into stringent opposition from his own party if he seeks to advance the legislation in the House. The RSC has more than 150 members.

The deal would also grant states more flexibility to waive ObamaCare rules and restore $106 million in outreach funding for ObamaCare, according to a Democratic aide.

Trump appeared to signal his support for the deal, saying it’s “a short-term solution so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period” for insurance companies.