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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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senate blocks Dem measure on short-term health plans | Trump signs bill banning drug price 'gag clauses' | DOJ approves Aetna-CVS merger | Juul ramps up lobbying Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' Senate defeats measure to overturn Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: House passes funding bill | Congress gets deal on opioids package | 80K people died in US from flu last winter Wilkie vows no 'inappropriate influence' at VA Dems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers 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 RyanGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Ryan signals support for sanctions if Saudis killed Khashoggi 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.