WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law (all times EDT):
A federal appeals court in Washington has agreed to let a group of states get involved in a lawsuit over government payments to insurers as part of the Obama administration’s health care law. It’s an intervention House Republicans had opposed.
House Republicans trying to thwart the Affordable Care Act sued the administration in federal court in 2014, arguing the law lacked specific language appropriating the “cost-sharing” subsidies. A district court judge agreed with House Republicans but the case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
On Tuesday, the court allowed a group of state attorneys general to join in the case, in defense of the subsidies. In an order, the court says the states have “demonstrated the appropriateness of their intervention.”
There are signs of a modest bipartisan effort to buttress health insurance markets, four days after the GOP effort to uproot and reshape the Obama health care law crumpled in the Senate.
The Republican chairman of the Senate health committee, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, says he’ll seek bipartisan legislation extending for one year federal payments to insurers that help millions of low- and moderate-income Americans afford coverage.
President Donald Trump has threatened to halt those subsidies in hopes of forcing Democrats to make concessions. Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York says that’s “not what an adult does.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is answering President Donald Trump’s call for a change in Senate rules with a dose of political reality.
The Republican leader told reporters on Tuesday that the reason for the collapse of health care legislation was not Democrats in opposition, but rather, “we didn’t have 50 Republicans.”
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that Republicans should change the rules on legislation and reduce the 60-vote threshold to eliminate possible filibusters. His tweets came after the failure of health care legislation on a razor-thin margin of 51-49 on Friday.
McConnell said there are not enough votes to change the rules in the Senate. He said, “The votes are simply not there.”
The chairman of the Senate health committee says he wants his panel to approve a one-year extension of federal payments to insurers so they can curb out-of-pocket health care costs for millions of…