Freedom Caucus Chairman Says Republicans Close To Health Care Agreement

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Republicans are growing closer to a consensus on repealing and replacing Obamacare and are presenting a plan to House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday.

Meadows told USA Today he planned to deliver a plan that kept language requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.

“What I’m getting to him is based on conversations that I’ve had with (Tuesday Group co-chairman) Tom MacArthur and leadership, but I wouldn’t say that it’s approved at this point,” he told the paper. “What we’re trying to do is work through issues that are important to all of us but make sure that pre-existing conditions are taken care of.”

The administration made numerous trips to Capitol Hill in an attempt to bring conservatives and moderates together, but House leadership remained short on votes before leaving for Easter recess Thursday.

The initial legislation was scrapped due to a lack of consensus between the different factions of the conference. Conservatives have been pushing for the removal of a number of Title I regulations and the community ratings system, which they say is increasing premiums.

White House officials have floated the possibility of allowing states to waver some of the Obama-era regulations in an attempt to placate both sides, but the proposal has received pushback from moderates.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said before recess it was possible the lower chamber could be called back into session to vote on the bill if they strike a deal.

“We’re very close,” Meadows told a North Carolina radio station. “The biggest thing for all of us is we want to make sure we don’t just have repeal, but we have a replacement that drives down insurance premiums.”

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