Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi made a stop in Austin to drum up support for the Affordable Care Act. In a surprise move, the House Democratic Party leader said she would be willing to work with Republicans on a reboot of the program.
The morning tour of Austin's new hospital and medical school clearly impressed U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett and house Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi. The two praised the expenditures collected from local tax payers, made for health care in Travis County.
Pelosi even said that commitment could be a national model.
"People here in Travis County and Austin should take great pride in what’s going on here,” said Pelosi.
The main reason for Thursday’s trip to Austin was this discussion with local supporters of the Affordable Care Act. Personal success stories were shared to counter arguments from the Trump administration that the program's mandates and government subsidies must come to an end. "We see the affordable care act as being a pillar of health and economic security for the American people,” said Rep Pelosi.
The two congressional Democrats acknowledged the act has problems that need to be corrected. "But as long as we have a group up there that wants to eliminate even the essential benefits and to do away with and repeal the act we don’t have a basis for moving forward,” said Rep. Doggett.
While the congresswoman was in Austin, GOP House members in Washington were negotiating a new repeal and replace proposal. Pelosi said she'd be willing to join that discussion but with one condition. "First of all you can take repeal off the table, once he takes repeal off the table we can talk, we know how we can make some accommodations."
James Dickey who is the chairman of the Travis Co Republican Party doubts Pelosi will have any takers on her offer. "She is literally saying, I’m fine with anything, except the thing that actually addresses the problem,” said Dickey.
There are a few parts to ObamaCare that Dickey believes can be used in a new plan. If he had been invited to the gathering at the Medical complex, Dickey said he would have offered a few ideas.
"The first comment I would have made today is, how about we focus on what the actual problems are, the delivery of care a couple of very special limited use cases and the perpetual increase in cost which we can consistently see in every government control area of life."
A new GOP repeal plan has not been finalized yet, but some details came out Thursday.
Key provisions include making insurance companies cover things like maternity leave, that was to win moderates. But the proposal reportedly also allows states to opt out of that -- in order to win conservatives.
The plan includes providing states with waivers to a current rule that prohibits insurance companies from charging sick customers higher premiums than those who are healthy. The President said he is optimistic a plan can be released by next week, but others are not sure if one will have enough votes to win passage.