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Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

The conservative House Freedom Caucus announced its support Wednesday for a newly revised Republican health care bill, a month after the group's opposition forced Republican leaders to pull the legislation in an embarrassing retreat.

What we know is that the bulk of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which opposed the first attempt to reform and replace the Affordable Care Act, is now on board with the revised, slightly more conservative version.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus came out in support of a reworked US healthcare overhaul bill even though it would not fully repeal Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The amendment would allow states to waive certain consumer protections within the ACA, such as essential health benefits and when insurance companies can charge certain consumers more for premiums.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, says he was on the phone until nearly 11 o'clock Thursday night, but Republicans are still "a few" votes short of passing a health insurance bill.

One GOP leadership aide told CNN that "the conversations are going well, things are moving in the right direction, and we're going to continue working toward a good vote". It gets to where we all want to go.

"While I appreciate this week's effort by Speaker Ryan and his leadership team to better protect older Americans from health-care cost increases, the difficulties this bill would create for millions of children were left unaddressed", she said in a statement back in March.

House Republicans are pushing forward on their pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare - so long as they don't have to deal with any negative consequences.




House Republicans appear to have included a provision that exempts members of Congress and their staff from their latest health care plan. My number one priority has been to improve affordability, access and quality health care for my constituents, which today's agreement - the product of intense study and negotiations - will accomplish. In other words, with Freedom Caucus members on board, the vote definitely got a lot closer - but now it's in the hands of the moderates, who will have to decide whether voting with their party will be too politically unsafe in their constituencies.

It's called the "MacArthur amendment," nicknamed after Tom MacArthur, a moderate Republican and co-chair of the more centrist Tuesday Group of House Republicans.

Pelosi decried the Meadows-MacArthur amendment for "gutting" basic medical benefits and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, Democrats have maintained unity, leaving Republicans to scramble to find votes within their own caucus. Many Republican senators oppose the House-written bill and its future should it reach that chamber is bleak.

"We clearly had a very productive dialogue led by Tom MacArthur and Mark Meadows over the break and you could just sense the movement and the desire to get something done", said Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican.

Since Obamacare requires all members of Congress and their staff to purchuase health care through the same marketplace as Obamacare enrollees, they would be vulnerable to any changes implemented.

Dent says the changes ignored his concerns that the health care bill would cut too deeply into the Medicaid program for the poor and leave many people unable to afford coverage.

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