House Republican leaders on Tuesday struggled to pick up votes for their ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, even after President Trump visited Capitol Hill to sell the plan.
With only a day before a scheduled vote on the House floor, the White House and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are facing an uphill climb to get the majority — 216 votes — needed to clear the lower chamber.
In a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, Trump warned that failure to pass the legislation might trigger a backlash for the GOP in the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans, the president said, could lose their seats next year, give Democrats the majority and derail Trump’s ambitious 2017 agenda if they fail to fulfill their campaign promise of repealing ObamaCare, said sources in the room.
Categories: Local Issues, State Issues, National Issues
The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide.
Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.
The proposal would also roll back the Medicaid expansion under the act — commonly known as Obamacare — which would affect many states bearing the brunt of the opiate crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under the ACA.
Categories: State Issues, National Issues
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said it is time to get long-awaited answers on the future of the South Suburban Airport.
Next week, IDOT will send out requests for information (RFI) to see if anyone in the private sector is interested in building and operating the airport, he said Thursday.
"It's time to put this to rest," Blankenhorn said. "We have been treating the people out there very badly for years. They deserve an answer."
Categories: Local Issues, State Issues, 2nd Congressional Dist.
The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.
NOAA is part of the Commerce Department, which would be hit by an overall 18 percent budget reduction from its current funding level.
As Republicans try to unite around a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, one of the most popular parts of the law will be among the most difficult to replace: the guarantee of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
The challenge of providing insurance for Americans who have no other alternative has some congressional Republicans considering whether to ask the states to reboot high-risk pools, an option with a rocky history. In the past, the pools served as insurers of last resort for people in poor health who could not get an individual policy from a commercial insurer.
"It's definitely a hand-off to the states," said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who has reviewed the GOP plans and a recent briefing document for members of Congress. "It's a commitment for money. It doesn't say how much."