Healthcare

WH: Trump wants Congress to pass bipartisan ObamaCare fixes in January

President Trump supports the passage of bipartisan legislation designed to shore up ObamaCare, the White House said Wednesday. 

"Yes," a senior White House official said when asked if Trump wants the bills passed in January. 

The official expressed confidence that Republicans could overcome opposition in the House, where conservatives are objecting to the fixes. 

"We believe we will work with the House to get those passed," the official said. "We think that we'll be in a more comfortable place in January to get that passed." 

Republicans on Capitol Hill are locking horns over two proposals to fund crucial insurer subsidies, stabilize individual insurer markets and help lower premiums. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) a vote on the proposals when seeking her vote on tax reform. 

But Collins on Wednesday acknowledged the bills won't be able to pass as part of legislation to avoid a government shutdown. She said action on health care can wait until January.

The White House's comments came after Trump boasted that the tax bill "essentially" repeals the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the individual health insurance mandate.

One proposal, written by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would fund insurer subsidies to help offset expected premium increases as a result of the mandate repeal. 

The bill would fund two years of the cost-sharing reduction payments in exchange for granting states greater flexibility to waive ObamaCare insurer regulations.

The other measure, drafted by Collins and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), would provide $4.5 billion over two years to help insurers pay for their most expensive customers.

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