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 AlexanderGrassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices McConnell blocks House bill to reopen government for second time Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySen. Murray says Washington behavior reminds her of former preschool students Senate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal 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 RyanTrump once asked Paul Ryan why he couldn’t be ‘loyal': book AEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism 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.