House GOP Obamacare replacement advances; Sen. Ron Wyden calls it 'morally reprehensible'

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 28, 2017

"The Freedom Caucus changes will partially repeal Obamacare while driving down health insurance costs for tens of millions of Americans".

Not Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina.

Ryan also said that Republicans need to deliver on their seven years of promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It was not a sudden conversion, he maintained.

When the ACA was being drafted, some Catholic organizations opposed key elements of the measure and since it became law, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed to challenge the subsequent Department of Health and Human Service's mandate requiring that insurance plans include coverage for artificial birth control, sterilization and drugs that lead to abortion.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he's "perpetually disappointed Congress does not pass individual appropriation bills", and called the process "an abysmal failure".

Still, Democrats see an opportunity for political gain. You know the bill's probably going nowhere in the House and certainly going nowhere in the Senate, but the new version gives you something you can vote for, which means you won't bear the blame for blocking it in the House any longer.

Other undecided Republicans "are so close to yes that I'm very optimistic whether the vote is tomorrow or Saturday or next week, the votes will be there to actually pass this", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Thursday on Bloomberg TV.

"Thank goodness they are concerned about their constituents", he said. "This digital ad campaign will educate voters in targeted districts about this morally bankrupt congressional carveout".

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday night posted the text of a one-page bill that rescinds the exemption for lawmakers, Politico reported.

The conservatives are now the ones trying to sound as if they're flexible, abandoning their search for the most pure bill.

"Republicans are back at it again, attempting to revive their efforts to take away health care from millions of Americans", veteran Congressman Earl Blumenauer says in a press release.

If the exemption remains in the bill, Pittenger, McSally and their allies are ready to move on their own to get rid of it.

What it looks like is House Republican leadership and the White House have traded one problem for another equally large problem. And while they did not mind that image during President Barack Obama's final years in office, it's a much more hard thing to be known as the group that upended its own party's administration.

Under MacArthur's changes, states could seek waivers from the health care law's requirements that insurers offer certain benefits and do not charge more for customers with pre-existing conditions such as cancer.

While the Freedom Caucus is known for pushing out former Speaker John Boehner, shutting down the government under President Obama and opposing most every spending bill crafted by their Republican colleagues, this successful negotiation shows that President Trump and House leaders are willing to put their demands over the needs of the more moderate wing of the party.

MacArthur brushed off criticisms from fellow moderates that his amendment is created to draw conservative support at the expense of centrists' concerns.

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