Republicans in Congress claim an amendment improves their controversial health care bill but the analyst says the GOP once opposed the idea.
The amendment from Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Alabama) and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona provides an additional $15 billion in funding for "invisible high risk pools."
"There was sort of this unifying theory, What are we doing to lower premiums for those individuals in that individual health care market?" Schweikert said in a Thursday press conference. "Five percent of our brothers and sisters who have chronic conditions are functionally 50 percent of our health care costs and because of that, we have this hockey stick curve."
He believes this helps lawmakers mitigate those patients' need to stay in the health care system but also mitigate some of the extraordinary costs that have been transferred to others who are trying to buy health coverage.
Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady also praised the effort, saying the amendment strengthens the American Health Care Act which he and other members of House GOP Leadership endorse.
"We have looked at it and you could argue it strengthens it in as much as it makes the bill much worse," responds Drew White, federal policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "Most of the efforts we've seen in terms of trying to build on what was a flawed bill to begin with have gone in the wrong direction."
White tells OneNewsNow the amendment mirrors Obamacare policy.
"They call it a risk-sharing improvement but candidly it's risky on the political side and, more importantly, it's on the policy side," he says. "It's a $15 billion slush fund for insurers to artificially try to depress the cost of premiums."
White also considers this another effort to work around the promise of simply and fully repealing Obamacare's regulations and mandates.
"It's not a fix," he says. "It's actually new money added on to existing money and it's ironically the very same type of cost-sharing subsidies that House Republicans - the Republican Party - fought against for seven years. They're doing the exact same thing. They're just calling it something else."