Freedom Caucus still opposes GOP healthcare plan

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 21, 2017

Across the country, the American Health Care Act, aka TrumpCare, has faced criticism for the way it will strip 24 million people of health insurance, fleece the elderly with inflated premiums, and give tax breaks to-you guessed it-millionaires. Dave Brat of Virginia, Gary J. Palmer of Alabama and Mark Sanford of SC - joined every Democrat in opposing the package. Members of the Republican Study Committee, the other major conservative group, switched their opinion on the bill after key changes.

After presenting an initial timeline to advance the AHCA to a full House vote by next week, Ryan also backed off his planned schedule on Wednesday.

Republicans cleared a path Thursday for their Obamacare replacement to reach the House floor, pushing a bill through the Budget Committee on a tight vote that saw the first GOP defections.

Without those votes and with all Democrats most likely voting against the legislation, the bill would not be able to advance beyond the House.

Reporters staking out the Freedom Caucus meeting Monday night couldn't help but notice that the group of almost 40 conservatives had not taken an official position against the Republican legislation, a potential signal that the caucus was split and opposition might not be as monolithic as some members wanted to present. "So now that we have the score, we can incorporate feedback to improve this bill, to refine this bill, and those kinds of conversations are occurring between the White House, the House, and the Senate and our members".

"Most people are opposed to the bill, and it's interesting, because it's from both the right and the left", Rep. Raul R. Labrador, Idaho Republican, said at a Conversations with Conservatives event hosted by The Heritage Foundation. "We made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare".

The House Republican leadership's bill to overhaul the USA healthcare system may have hit a serious roadblock Wednesday evening.

In an attempt to steer the controversial bill through the House, Republican leadership has noted the progress the bill has made in committees. So if you expand them for the needy you alienate conservative Republicans and if you reduce or eliminate them you alienate moderates.

"We have our own way of evaluating things and making our points heard, and it's not necessarily through the press, the way that they do it", Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., a second-term lawmaker from the Philadelphia's western suburbs, said Thursday.

The rest of Thursday's Budget Committee hearing after the vote consisted of short debates about motions to potentially change the bill. Republican leaders, as promised, added language for the optional block-granting of Medicaid, as well as optional Medicaid work requirements. They know their constituents might be frustrated with Obamacare, but they tend to be more diverse and from the suburban professional ranks, unwilling to throw people off insurance with no substitute. "Our position has not changed", Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said.

Negotiations will continue said Meadows, a South Carolina Republican, noting leadership has continued to ask what it will take to get them to yes.

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