Conservatives divided over passage of Obamacare replacement

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Unless allowed to make changes to the new healthcare bill introduced by the White House last week, Capitol Hill conservatives said on Sunday that they’ll let the bill fail.

A piece in Politico on Sunday reported that Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and vice chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have said that they want the opportunity to amend the legislation, or the bill won’t get their votes.

Along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the legislators are calling the proposed replacement “Obamacare-lite,” and are asking the White House to “support the modification of health care tax credits and the Medicaid expansion phase-out.”

On CNN’s State of the Union, Meadows made the case that the current plan doesn’t “effectively lower health care premiums.” He said, “If we don’t do that, then we just have Obamacare by another name.”

Trying to move quickly, Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP leaders have publicly stated that members have only two choices: Stick with the status quo of Obamacare or approve the new replacement.

“Seems to me, the binary choice, if there is one here, is to say… ‘Either work with us or you don’t end up getting the votes,’” Jordan said to Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

However, leaders are reticent to change the bill, fearing it will fail in the Senate.

“This idea that they had the bill hidden away, introduced it five days ago, and now you have to take it or leave it? That’s not how American democracy works,” Jordan said. “We’d like a chance to amend it, change it, and make it consistent with the message we told the voters we’d accomplish.”

“Right now, I think there’s a charm offensive going on,” said Paul, as Trump and administration officials attempt to seduce conservatives into voting for the bill via nice dinners and bowling parties at the White House. “But, we’re not going to vote for it.”

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