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 AlexanderGOP braces for impeachment brawl McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows GOP senator: 'Inappropriate' to discuss opponents, but impeachment a 'mistake' MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Biz groups say Warren labor plan would be disaster Freedom of the press under fire in Colorado 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 RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate 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.