(NationalSentinel) Healthcare: Once thought to have been a missed opportunity just a few short news cycles ago, it appears more likely than ever that an actual Obamacare repeal-and-replace measure could get done in the next several weeks.
As reported by The Hill, the House Freedom Caucus – a group of conservative lawmakers who opposed the first Paul Ryan-offered repeal measure because it essentially kept most of the Affordable Care Act’s worst provisions intact, is now said to be on board a revised measure, giving it a much better shot at passage:
The House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday announced it will back the GOP’s healthcare plan now that an amendment allowing states to opt out of key ObamaCare rules is included.
The group of roughly 30 hard-line conservatives held out for weeks, scuttling a planned House vote on the bill last month after it became clear there was’t enough Republican support to pass it.
The group said it sees the new amendment, brokered by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), as the best option short of fully repealing the 2010 law.
Owing that the Left-leaning Hill mischaracterized the Freedom Caucus as being “hard-right,” since it never describes very liberal lawmakers as being “hard-left,” this new support is crucial to any eventual Obamacare repeal-and-replace.
“While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.
“We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare.”
The MacArthur-Meadows amendment lets states apply for waivers from ObamaCare provisions that ban insurers from charging sick people higher premiums and mandate minimum insurance coverage requirements, as long as the state offers high-risk pools as an alternative.
Moderate Republicans are facing a difficult decision on the bill now that the Freedom Caucus has backed it, bringing the legislation close to the 216 House votes needed for passage.
In other words, some RINOs may now have to look for other reasons not to back Obamacare repeal-and-replace, but they may be out of wiggle room this time. We’ll see how it goes.