GOP, Dem governors call for changes in House health bill


Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa

A group of Republican and Democratic governors are echoing President Donald Trump’s criticism of a House GOP health care bill, saying it threatens coverage for the most vulnerable. Instead, they’re asking Senate leaders to work together on an overhaul of Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, seven governors, including three moderate Republicans, argue that “true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan fashion.”

The governors implore the leaders to focus on stabilizing the individual insurance markets, give states flexibility and ensure affordable cover.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday.

The governors said they oppose the bill the House narrowly passed last month, citing its deep cuts to Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income Americans.

Republicans have said the House bill is aimed at lowering premiums and expanding consumers’ insurance choices while getting rid of the mandates in “Obamacare” that require people to buy coverage.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the House measure would raise costs for many older and lower income people while causing 23 million people to lose insurance over a decade.

The bill “calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while shifting significant costs to the states,” the governors said.

The governors say Congress must focus more on controlling costs and settling the individual insurance market.

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