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  • Courtesy photo
    Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, second from right on couch, and other Republican members of the House meet Friday at the White House with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
March 17, 2017 4:52 PM

Banks meets with Trump to push health-bill changes

BRIAN FRANCISCO | Washington editor

Freshman Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, was among 13 members of the House Republican Study Committee who met Friday at the White House with President Donald Trump to discuss conservative proposals for revising the GOP health-care bill.

Trump reportedly agreed to support the proposals. One would let states require childless, able-bodied adults who receive Medicaid benefits to find work. Another would allow states to accept Medicaid block grants from the federal government and distribute them as they see fit, rather than follow the federal formula for per-person payments. Another would halt Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood.

"President Trump personally assured me that he is 100 percent behind this bill and views its passage as a critical priority," Banks, a member of the Republican Study Committee's steering committee, said in a statement after Friday's meeting.

“While this legislation is far from perfect and not the Obamacare replacement plan I had hoped to support, it is a substantial improvement from the mandates, burdens and failures of Obamacare. I committed to President Trump that I would support this plan if it contains the changes we agreed to today," the Columbia City resident said.

"Obamacare" is the nickname for the Affordable Care Act that Trump and congressional Republicans are trying to repeal and replace. Many conservatives have complained that the original House replacement, called the American Health Care Act, is too similar to the health care law crafted in 2009-10 by then President Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress.

bfrancisco@jg.net