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Home / Politics / Billy Long flips to yes vote on GOP Obamacare replacement bill after meeting with Trump

Billy Long flips to yes vote on GOP Obamacare replacement bill after meeting with Trump

Following a meeting with President Donald Trump, Reps. Billy Long, R-Missouri, and Fred Upton, R-Michigan say they’re switching their votes from “no” to “yes”on the revised GOP health care legislation. Upton said that with the addition of his own amendment, the revised health care bill is “likely to pass.”

The White House still expects a vote Friday or Saturday, CBS News’ Major Garrett reports, and the administration now believes the legislation has real momentum.

Long said he talked to Trump Monday and again Tuesday to set up Wednesday’s meeting, according to Garrett. Upton said the issue of pre-existing conditions has been resolved and credited Trump and Pence for their flexibility and willingness to keep the dialogue going. He did not explain how the measure, requiring an additional $8 billion, would be paid for in the bill.

The funding “will more than cover those who might be impacted and as a consequence, keeps our pledge for those that in fact would otherwise be denied because of pre-existing illnesses,” said Upton of his amendment.

Specifically, the funds would backstop funding for high-risk pools for insurance coverage, increasing the availability of funds for those with pre-existing conditions.

Upton’s amendment aims to help some people with pre-existing medical conditions pay costly insurance premiums, and it would go into effect when a waiver is sought by a state.

According to the recent MacArthur Amendment to the bill, states granted a waiver would be allowed to set up high-risk pools or participate in a new federal invisible risk-sharing program to help states reimburse the cost for insurers for covering these consumers.

The Upton amendment, if enacted, would go into effect when governors successfully obtain waivers for insurers to set premiums based on the health status of consumers. “You may have some states that do that, this language is now specifically written for those states that seek a waiver to protect those with pre-existing conditions.”

Upton’s comments come just days after Mr. Trump made promises to guarantee coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, a statement Upton said he brought up in his conversation with the president.

“I read him back his statement where he said that this bill would be just as strong on pre-existing illnesses as Obamacare. I want him to keep that pledge. This amendment allows that to happen and cover those that otherwise might have been excluded. ” said Upton. He added that the House will consider the legislation “likely tomorrow.”

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