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.

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The proposal worked out by Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades 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 RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge 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.