Tags: Healthcare Reform | Billy Long | healthcare vote | pre-existing condiations | Upton amendment

Amendment on Pre-Existing Conditions Could Sway Votes

Amendment on Pre-Existing Conditions Could Sway Votes
Rep. Billy Long (AP)

By Wednesday, 03 May 2017 06:07 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Hours after Rep. Billy Long told President Trump on Wednesday morning he would vote to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Missouri Republican told Newsmax the key to the sudden reversal of his "no" position: an amendment by Rep. Fred Upton (R.-Mich.) to provide $8 billion over five years to reduce premiums and other costs for those with pre-existing conditions with a gap in their coverage.

The Upton Amendment was discussed at a meeting at the White House Wedneday morning that included Trump, Upton, Long and fellow Republican Reps. Greg Walden (Ore.) and Michael Burgess (Tex.).

With questions about the Upton amendment dominating the daily briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer later that day, the president's top spokesman was clearly more upbeat about passage of the AHCA than he has been in a week.

Upton and Long emerged from the meeting after an hour and told reporters that, with the inclusion of the Michigander’s amendment in the AHCA, they would support it.

For Long, this represents a 180-degree change from the opposing stance he had taken in two telephone conversations with Trump over the past two days.

"He kept pitching and pitching and saying, 'We need you,'" recalled Long, who first predicted Trump's election as president in 2015. "I told him I have supported repeal of Obamacare since I first got here in 2010.

"But I also told him I have always been for making coverage for people with pre-existing conditions affordable. And the way [the AHCA] is written, there was no limit to what [insurance companies] could charge."

Long made his major objection known to Trump. During their second conversation on Tuesday, Long mentioned that Upton was working on an amendment to guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Out of this conversation, the meeting on Wednesday morning emerged.

With the House poised to vote on replacing Obamacare with the AHCA perhaps as early as Thursday, Spicer and other administration operatives believe they are within striking distance of the "magic 216" — the majority of the House needed to pass it.

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John-Gizzi
Hours after Rep. Billy Long told President Trump on Wednesday morning he would vote to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Missouri Republican told Newsmax the key to the sudden reversal of his "no" position: an...
Billy Long, healthcare vote, pre-existing condiations, Upton amendment
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2017-07-03
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 06:07 PM
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