White House officials are trying to sell House Republicans on two bills that some lawmakers have labeled as “bailouts” for Obamacare.
Supporters of two bills intended to stabilize Obamacare are looking to support from President Trump as the key to pushing the legislation through a skeptical House. The bills were expected to be part of a short-term government spending deal this week but now will be considered for the next short-term spending bill in January.
An administration official said that the White House is “actively working with Congress to move those bills forward.”
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner he has been in contact with the White House about funding the payments.
Other lawmakers said they haven’t heard from the White House, including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is still committed to bringing up the legislation. Another opportunity could be Jan. 19, when the next short-term spending bill would expire.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said Trump could help get the bills through the House.
“You don’t think that the president has influence with people on the House?” Collins said this month.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., a supporter of insurer payment legislation, also said Trump could help to push the bill over the hump.
McConnell and Trump promised Collins that the bills would become law by the end of the year. Collins agreed to support the tax legislation, which includes a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, after receiving the commitment and the addition of several other amendments in the final bill.
One of the bills from Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., would fund Obamacare insurer payments, called cost-sharing reductions, for two years in exchange for added flexibility for states to waive insurer regulations. Another sponsored by Collins and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., would give states $10 billion over two years to help Obamacare insurers cover their highest medical claims.
Washington Examiner senior healthcare writer Kimberly Leonard contributed to this report.