House Republicans, who have spent the last two weeks quietly negotiating a GOP health care proposal, on Thursday floated a carefully crafted amendment to the bill that failed several weeks ago, and some say it could be the key to getting the measure passed.
Details of the proposal were first reported by Politico.
The new activity encouraged President Trump, who expressed optimism that the House could pass the "great bill" as early as next week — though senior GOP aides downplayed that possibility.
The proposed amendment comes from moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who has led talks on tweaking the health care bill with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. It would make essential health benefits — requiring plans to cover things like prescription drugs, maternity care and mental health services — the federal standard but offer limited waivers to states that want to do things differently and can prove that doing so would lower the cost of health care or increase…