House Republicans made some significant changes to their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare Monday evening.
Lawmakers put forth the manager’s amendment Monday night, in an attempt to provide some concessions to House conservatives and moderates who have expressed grave concerns with the Republican repeal platform.
The largest changes made by Republican leadership include: allowing states to choose between Medicaid per capita caps or block grants; providing states an optional Medicaid work requirement; allowing for inflation-adjusted Medicaid costs of the elderly and disabled; instituting a full repeal of Obamacare taxes a year earlier.
While these alterations to the bill could garner more support for their repeal effort, Republicans failed to make key changes sought by conservatives, a move that could leave them a few votes short in the House vote Thursday.
Lawmakers failed to end the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program early enough for House conservatives, a point championed by Rep. Joe Barton of Texas. The conservative representative could bring the Medicaid expansion debate to the House Rules Committee before the bill comes up for a vote. If this happens, it could throw a monkey wrench in Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s plan to get the bill on its way to the Senate this week.
Republicans also did not roll back Obamacare’s insurance regulations, a concession conservatives were also pushing for in Monday’s changes. Republican leadership is adamant that repealing the insurance regulations cannot be done through budget reconciliation, but that doesn’t mean conservatives will be satisfied.
The House Freedom Caucus is a voting block the Republicans are heavily relying on to pass their repeal agenda. If Republicans lose the Freedom Caucus’s support, the bill will not make it through the House. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows isn’t satisfied with the Monday’s changes.
“Our leadership is going to put forth a bill that does not address any of the concerns in a meaningful way and will dare us to vote against it,” Meadows told Axios Monday. Meadows promises the group will not vote uniformly, but his voice has the power to sway members of the caucus.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Congressional Republicans Tuesday morning to discuss the repeal effort.
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