Freedom Caucus announces new position on GOP healthcare bill

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Following the inclusion of an amendment that allows states to opt out of key Obamacare rules, the House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday announced its support for the Republican healthcare plan.

The House Freedom Caucus, composed of approximately 30 staunch conservatives, stood firm in opposition for weeks, causing the cancellation of a planned House vote on the bill proposed in March after it became apparent that there was not enough support from Republicans to push it through to the Senate.

The new amendment, negotiated by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), is viewed by the group as the best option despite the fact that it does not fully repeal Obamacare.

“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 allows states to apply for waivers from Obamacare provisions that prohibit insurers from charging sick people higher premiums and mandate minimum insurance coverage requirements, providing that the state offers high-risk pools as an alternative.

The Freedom Caucus’ backing of the legislation brings it closer to the 216 House votes required for passage and leaves moderate Republicans in a quandary over their support.

On Wednesday, members of the centrist Tuesday Group indicated that they were either still opposed or undecided.

H/T: The Hill

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