Republicans modify Obamacare repeal bill to win more GOP votes

WASHINGTON — Republicans released a modified health care bill Monday in an attempt to shore up support among both conservatives and moderates for their legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act before the House votes Thursday — seven years to the day after President Obama signed the act.

Under the modified version of the GOP replacement bill, states would be allowed to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients without dependents to work beginning in October — and would get a funding boost as a reward for doing so. States could also receive federal funding for the program as a lump sum — instead of a per capita allotment — for children and non-disabled, non-elderly adults.

Taxes imposed by the ACA on the wealthy, sectors of the health care industry and others to pay for expanded coverage would be repealed in 2017 instead of 2018.

Those changes were made to draw support from conservative members disappointed the original bill didn’t go far enough to undo the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare.

“There are several groups where it addresses their concerns, that’s why we’re doing this,” said Rep. Pete Sessions, the Texas Republican who heads the House Rules Committee, which will take up the legislation Wednesday,

Republicans also said the changes will allow the Senate to expand subsidies for older people who buy coverage on the individual market. That would help offset the premium increases they’ll see once insurers are allowed to charge them five times as much as younger people for the same plan. The ACA limited the difference to three times as much and AARP has mounted a strong opposition to the GOP bill. Other groups opposing the GOP bill include associations representing doctors, nurses and hospitals.

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