Last-minute Obamacare repeal deal may be costly

An olive branch to get centrists on board with making Obamacare’s insurance regulations optional could mean a higher price tag. An amendment to Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill, advanced by a House panel, to create high-risk pools to cover the sickest patients may not have enough money, healthcare experts say. The measure is aimed at quelling centrists’ concerns about giving states the power to opt out of a requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions. The amendment would give $15 billion to states for the pools from 2018 to 2026 and let states use the money leftover from a $115 billion stability fund to offset costs in the individual market. But some centrists say that consistent money must be available for the pools. We have to have funding to make these things work long term, Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group, said last week.

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