White House officials offer change to health care bill

John Minchillo, Associated Press

In this Saturday, April 1, 2017, photo, Vice President Mike Pence speaks at DynaLab, Inc. in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Pence and a few other White House officials made a new offer to conservative House Republicans late Monday on the GOP’s failed health care bill, hoping to resuscitate a measure that crashed spectacularly less than two weeks ago.

WASHINGTON — White House officials made a new offer to conservative House Republicans late Monday on the GOP’s failed health care bill, hoping to resuscitate a measure that crashed spectacularly less than two weeks ago.

Vice President Mike Pence and two top White House officials made the offer in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus, according to a participant. Opposition from the hard-line group, which has around three dozen conservative Republicans, contributed to circumstances that forced House Speaker Paul Ryan to withdraw the bill from a March 24 vote that would have produced a certain defeat.

Under the White House offer, states would be allowed to apply for waivers from several coverage requirements that President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law imposed on insurers.

These include an Affordable Care Act provision prohibiting insurance companies from declining to write policies for people with serious diseases. Conservatives have argued that such requirements have the effect of inflating insurance costs.

Freedom Caucus members said they wanted to see the White House offer in writing — which is expected Tuesday — before deciding whether to accept it.

Also at Monday’s meeting were White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and budget director Mick Mulvaney. The participant spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private strategy session.

Another participant — Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. — said the group would make no decisions until it…

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