Trump administration officials attended the House Freedom Caucus meeting Monday in an attempt to sway lawmakers on a new Obamacare repeal bill.
Vice President Mike Pence, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus showed up at the meeting to garner support for a new House bill. The move comes after a leadership-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare was pulled from the floor in late March due to a lack of consensus between conservatives and moderates.
The House Freedom Caucus took the brunt of the heat for that bill’s lack of support, with members arguing the initial legislation text didn’t bring down premiums in a meaningful way. Members of the powerful conservative group pushed for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s Title I regulations and changes to the community rating system. And as leadership and the administration conceded to the HFC’s requests, the bill began to lose the support of moderates.
“So they’ve laid out a plan that we’re waiting to see what the legislative text actually outlines,” HFC Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina told reporters Monday. “But we remain open-minded and willing to look in detail at the details of the plan, and so we’re hopeful that we’ll get the legislative checks within the next 24 hours.”
Meadows praised Pence for articulating the administration’s proposal, adding he needs more information before he can determine whether he can support it.
“What we have are some talking points that have not even been laid out in terms of even principles other than it would allow states to opt out of some of the Title 1 provisions, or as your readers and listeners would know it, as Obamacare insurance mandates while still preserving the preexisting conditions and children 26 years of age staying on their parents plans,” he said.
Administration officials met with a number of members from the moderate caucus, the Tuesday Group, earlier in the day.
According to Republican Rep. Chris Collins, the White House would like to see a vote before the House recesses for Easter at the end of the week.
“There’s more discussions to be had, but this was certainly a green light to continue these discussions with other members.” Collins told reporters.
A number of HFC members called for the House to stay in session until the pass the repeal legislation.
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