Louisiana House budget offer panned by Senate

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"Many in Washington and the media look at the enormous health crises that we have facing Tennessee and the country today and they say, 'We can't afford to change our nation's health care policies at a time like this, '" said Price, a former Georgia congressman and physician, at the event sponsored by Healthy Tennessee and the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. "We believe we can do better than the status quo".

But even facing those challenges, there was rare optimism among Senate Republicans on Tuesday.

"They need to be willing to completely drop repeal", the leadership aide said, describing the message from Democrats and Republicans as: "We're ready to sit down and work with you as soon as you guys tell us you're off repeal". "Of course, it's not everything I want, but that's life".

During a meeting Thursday in the finance committee, Sen. The only requirement is that the Senate save $133 billion, the same amount saved in the House bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to keep in place the Affordable Care Act's protection against higher health-insurance premiums for people with pre-existing conditions when they buy individual coverage, said a Republican aide familiar with the recommendation.

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, another GOP leader, was asked about recent downbeat assessments from other Republican senators - like Richard Burr of North Carolina, who said he didn't think a deal could be reached this year.

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The meeting also involved a discussion of more divisive policy decisions.

Senator John Cornyn, the No.2 Republican in the Senate, said Monday evening he thought there would be a vote on a healthcare bill in the Senate in July.

Republicans, including John Thune of South Dakota and Susan Collins of ME, say stabilizing the markets is vital after insurers dropped out of providing individual insurance coverage in Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee and other states.

"I'm looking for more vision from this budget", Cooper said.

While Republicans debate, an increasing number of insurers have been pulling out of the market place, including in OH today.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), a physician and member of the GOP leadership team, confirmed that tweaks were being made to the House repeal bill's phase-out of Medicaid expansion to make it more of a "glide path".

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And the turn to tax reform is a strategy that seems to gain steam in the Senate.

"You have to get 50 people - that means they have to get me and a lot of people who are concerned about Medicaid", said Senator Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, a state that depends heavily on the program. But he added, "I'm seeing more and more clarity, and a narrower and narrower focus, and a smaller and smaller difference in the caucus". House GOP leaders say they want to give the state a cushion against their expectations the state's income forecast is too optimistic.

Also Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee reported that the House measure meets requirements to allow the Senate GOP to avoid a Democratic filibuster and pass a health bill with a simple majority. It's a rallying cry Democrats have been using for years, but one that has now gained renewed traction as Republicans struggle to put forth a repeal bill.

The CBPP analysis also found that changes in the House bill would increase Medicaid out-of-pocket costs, making it hard for those over 60 years old and poor to afford coverage.

Medicaid has been a key sticking point since the Senate took up healthcare reform, as some GOP senators who are from Medicaid expansion states are reluctant to repeal it. "The last statewide insurer in the great state of OH is leaving", Trump said.

There has been little progress on health care since the House passed its bill.

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Cooper spoke shortly after the Senate formally rejected the House's version of the two-year budget approved last week, setting the stage for legislators to negotiate a final plan to present the governor.

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