The White House and Senate GOP leaders have nearly $200 billion in savings to divvy up among senators’ priorities to secure votes for the imperiled bill.
White House and Capitol Hill officials are exploring potential deals to divvy up billions of dollars to individual senators’ priorities in a wide-ranging bid to secure votes for the imperiled GOP health care bill.
A Congressional Budget office score that projected 22 million fewer Americans would have insurance under the plan sent some members fleeing Monday and left the bill in jeopardy of failing to have enough votes to even be called to the Senate floor this week.
But Republicans in the White House and in Congress were pleasantly surprised that the bill included more savings than they expected — and are trying to figure out if they can dole it out for votes.
The Senate has about $188 billion to play with.
Among the possible changes: More spending for health savings accounts to appease conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, according to three people familiar with the matter, and some additional Medicaid and opioid spending for moderates.
“We are still working with leadership to change the base bill,” a Lee aide said.