Republicans pitch healthcare plan ahead of key vote

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 20 (IANS) Republicans have made a pitch for their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare ahead of a critical vote this week, a media report said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday expressed confidence about the prospects of passing the Republican healthcare plan, called the American Health Care Act, The Hill magazine said in the report.

Other Republicans, however, voiced concerns about the plan, with Senator Rand Paul predicting it would not pass through Congress.

Later on Sunday, Ryan told Fox News that he was optimistic about the chances of passing the plan.

"We feel very good where we are," Ryan said, adding "We're still having conversations with our members. We're making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements."

But Ryan admitted that there were improvements to be made to the bill until it is brought to the floor.

The Republicans are not "doing this behind the scenes and just bringing some bill to the floor and making people vote for it."

"We're listening to the people," he added.

Meanwhile, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney slammed the ObamaCare saying one of the key points of the Republicans' plan is that it is going to "encourage more competition". That, he said, would lower the costs for everyone.

"The Affordable Care Act wasn't really ObamaCare. It wasn't really the Affordable Care Act. It was the Affordable Coverage Act," Mulvaney told CBS News on Sunday night.

"And those people that you just described could afford to buy insurance, but they couldn't afford to go to the doctor because the deductibles were so high."

The Trump administration and House Republican leaders are making two significant changes to the ObamaCare replacement bill ahead of an expected vote on Thursday.

The bill, unveiled earlier this month, is now being considered by two congressional committees ahead of its passage through the House and Senate.