Kansas lawmakers tweak tax plan, mull school aid proposal

26 May 2017, 08:14 | Noah Barnes

Rep. Dan Huberty, a Houston Republican who heads the House Public Education Committee, said he wasn't ready to give up even though the Senate's actions "made virtually impossible for us to come to some meaningful financial reform on school finance".

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have been more aligned with the House Freedom Caucus, which negotiated key portions of the legislation.

Erasing Obama's health care law was a top promise of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, and by congressional GOP candidates since its 2010 enactment.

For GOP senators holding private meetings to sketch out their own legislation, the report's figures could serve as a starting point as they consider changing the House's Medicaid cuts, tax credits and other policies.

The new score, which reflects last-minute revisions that Republicans made to win over several conservative lawmakers and a handful of moderates, calculates that the American Health Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026.

Many Senate Republicans have misgivings about the House-passed legislation, which Democrats have said would deprive millions of people of insurance, benefit the wealthy and roll back Obamacare protections such as guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Because motor vehicle sales are now exempt from sales tax, Majority Leader Jon Echols said the bill doesn't run afoul of State Question 640's provision that prohibits passing revenue bills during the last five days of session.

By one account, the GOP's health care working group did receive some information yesterday from actuaries, but the discussion was held behind closed doors, and only the 13 Republican members of the working group were allowed to participate in the discussion.

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The budget office said average premiums in those states would go down because younger and healthier people would buy coverage and the policies would cover less. The House approved the bill May 4 by a narrow 217-213 with only GOP votes.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for pushing people off coverage. The Senate budget would eliminate the money.

The majority of state agencies also included in the bill received a 5 percent cut, except those considered core agencies.

The House Rules Committee declared Jacobs' amendment out of order.

For ill people in those states, "it would become more difficult" for seriously ill people to buy insurance "because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly", the report said.

But each move to appease these Republicans risks losing a few more votes on the conservative end of McConnell's caucus, including his home-state colleague, Sen. He says the report will likely show "the same grave consequences" as earlier analyses by the nonpartisan budget office.

"The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage", he said of the agency's report on Obama's law, "and they are wrong again".

"You want to look at different components of it, it may be that some of it you keep and some of it you discard", Cassidy said.



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