GOP leaders propose health bill changes to help older people

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump says he thinks House Republicans have enough votes to pass the GOP health bill.

Trump entered a closed-door meeting with House Republicans in the basement of the Capitol Tuesday morning. As he passed reporters, one asked if the bill would pass. Trump gave a thumbs-up sign and said, "I think so."

The House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Thursday. Failure to pass it would be a major setback just a two months into Trump's presidency. Success could give Republicans to tackle other big issues including a major revamp of the tax code.

The bill would replace President Barack Obama's signature health law. Even if it passes the House, it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

Top House Republicans hunting votes for their health care overhaul are proposing amendments aimed at providing more help for older people, curbing Medicaid and accelerating the repeal of some tax increases.

The bill would let people deduct more medical costs from taxes. It would repeal many tax increases boosted by President Barack Obama's 2010 statute this year instead of 2018.

Older and disabled Medicaid recipients would get more generous benefits. But states could impose work requirements on the program.

The bill would let the Senate approve tax credits more generous to people age 50 to 64. Congressional analysts say the current GOP legislation would hit many with big cost increases.

GOP leaders released the changes late Monday, three days ahead of a planned House vote on the bill.

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