- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the Republican legislation to overhaul the health care law (all times EDT):

6:30 p.m.

Some Republican governors are telling their party’s congressional leaders that the House GOP health care bill doesn’t work for their states.

Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said Thursday in a letter that the beleaguered legislation “provides almost no new flexibility for states,” fails to ensure enough resources to protect vulnerable residents, and shifts significant new costs to states.

A copy of the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan was provided to The Associated Press.

Instead, the governors are presenting their own proposal, which tracks with a plan GOP governors developed earlier this year. Like the House plan, it calls for fundamental changes to Medicaid, but states would have many more options.


5:45 p.m.

Rank-and-file Republicans want tax credits in their party’s troubled health care overhaul to become more focused on lower earners.

The GOP-run House Budget Committee voted Thursday to advance the bill erasing much of former President Barack Obama’s health law.

The panel voted to urge Republican leaders to allow House floor amendments tightening Medicaid spending more than the bill does. But it also backed a proposal by California GOP Rep. Tom McClintock to aim the measure’s tax credits at “the population they are intended to serve.”

Right now the credits begin phasing out for people earning $75,000. McClintock called that a “glaring defect” and predicted that without a change, the Senate would reject the measure.

The proposals could foretell changes GOP leaders will seek to win House passage of the bill.


11:10 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump is deeply involved in efforts to scrap Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and helping GOP leaders persuade reluctant lawmakers.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ryan insisted that he and the White House are working together on the issue, dismissing reports that the two are at odds.

“No palace intrigue,” Ryan said.

The Wisconsin Republican said the goal is to get a bill that can pass and the president is “making it easier and better for us” to pass their health care bill.

Republicans have been scrambling to salvage their bill after Congress’ analysts said some 24 million would be shoved off insurance in the next decade under the GOP bill.


10:39 a.m.

The House Budget Committee has voted to advance the troubled Republican health care bill.

Three conservative GOP lawmakers voted against the measure. That’s one vote shy of what would have been needed to deal a damaging and embarrassing - but not fatal - setback to the party’s showpiece legislation.

Even so, the tally underscored the challenge Republican leaders face in trying to round up votes for the measure. They hope to bring it to the full House next week.

The committee is planning to debate a slew of non-binding proposals suggesting changes in the measure. They may provide clues about the types of changes the legislation will need for it to win House approval.

All Democrats voted against the measure.

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