President Donald Trump is promoting a revamped health care overhaul effort after failing to advance legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in his first three months in office. Trump tweeted Sunday that a “new healthcare plan is on its way,” promising lower premiums and protection for people with pre-existing conditions. The House did not vote last week on a renewed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act, but the White House remains hopeful action could come soon.
The president has spent much of his first 100 days in office reckoning with the realities of governing, even with a Republican-led Congress. While health care negotiations continue to prove a challenge, negotiators reached agreement Sunday on a $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund the day-to-day operations of virtually every federal agency to October 1.
The House and Senate have until Friday at midnight to pass the measure to avert a government shutdown. The catchall spending bill would be the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during Trump’s short tenure in the White House. It denies Trump funding for his oft-promised wall along the US-Mexico border, but gives him a down payment on his request to strengthen the military and money for border security measures.
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The failure of the original health care bill was a heavy blow in the early days of the Trump administration. Under White House pressure, Republicans recently recast the bill. Critics have raised concerns about how the latest version of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act would impact people with pre-existing conditions. The bill would allow states to opt out of the requirement for standard premiums, under certain circumstances.
If a state maintains safeguards such as a high-risk pool, it can allow insurers to use health status as a factor in setting premiums for people who have had a break in coverage and are trying to get a new individual policy. Critics say there is no requirement that a state must provide an affordable coverage option for those consumers.
But during an interview with “Face the Nation” on CBS that aired Sunday, Trump said: “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, ‘Pre-existing is not covered.’ Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.'”