Wed | Mar 21, 2018

White House pushes to revive health care bill

Published:Wednesday | April 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
House Speaker Paul Ryan


A White House offensive to resurrect the moribund House Republican health care bill got an uneven reception yesterday from GOP moderates and conservatives, leaving prospects shaky for the party's operation to salvage one of its leading priorities.

Vice-President Mike Pence and other top administration officials were offering to let states request federal exemptions from insurance coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Pence said he and President Donald Trump "remain confident that working with the Congress, we will repeal and replace Obamacare", while White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump "would like to see this done", if possible.

"I'm not going to raise expectations, but I think that there are more and more people coming to the table with more and more ideas about how to grow that vote," Spicer said.

But there was no initial evidence that the proposal won over any of the GOP opponents that forced Trump and party leaders to beat an unceremonious retreat on their bill on March 24, when they cancelled a House vote that was doomed to failure.