Mike Pence and a group of leading House Republicans are shopping around a plan that would revive the White House’s attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Based on insider information, the new plan would be worse than the previous attempt — since it will attempt to appease hardline ultra-conservatives from the Freedom Caucus.
House Speaker Paul Ryan withdrew the bill on March 24 after the Freedom Caucus said the new plan didn’t go far enough to strip away health care privileges from the poor and elderly.
Under the new plan, states would be allowed to apply for waivers for several coverage requirements that President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law imposed on insurers.
The waivers would remove the requirement for insurers to cover “essential health benefits,” including mental health, maternity, and substance abuse services. The current version of the GOP legislation erases that coverage requirement but would allow states to reimpose them on their own.
“The biggest change was putting the essential health benefits back in,” said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
“That really took some Tuesday Morning group folks to yes from no,” he said.
The new offer would also allow states to seek an exemption to the law’s requirement that insurers must offer coverage to people with serious diseases. Conservative groups have claimed that requirement has inflated the cost of health care coverage for everyone.
Freedom Caucus members are waiting to see the White House offer in writing. The offer is expected to be delivered on Tuesday.
The Freedom Caucus has clearly stated that there is “no deal in principle” at this time.
Even if the Freedom Caucus accepts the terms of the new deal, there is no guarantee that GOP moderates will agree to any proposed changes. Moderates in the Republican party argued last month that the plan would cut far too much Medicaid coverage for the poor and place higher premiums on low earners and people over 50-years-old.
The White House could face an increased uphill battle because of how they treated the Freedom Caucus after the bill failed to move forward. Washington insiders have said growing hostility exists among the two groups.
This could be a last ditch effort for the White House following Trump’s comments that he was ready to ditch his health care crusade.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.