Freedom Caucus: GOP close to a deal on Obamacare replacement

Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, told a radio show Tuesday that Republicans were close to a deal on a replacement for Obamacare. According to Meadows, there are “two options” currently on the table but he didn’t go into any detail on what those options are. From the Hill:

“We’re very close. 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,” he said.

“It’s our encouragement to have a vote as soon as we possibly can, even perhaps before we return back to DC in 13 days.”

While House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has warned that members could be called back from recess early to vote on healthcare if a deal emerges, it appears unlikely.

While all of this certainly sounds promising, it’s worth noting that Rep. Meadows was saying just last Tuesday that a White House compromise plan was imminent based on a “solid idea” that had been put forward. However, that compromise plan got plenty of pushback from moderates who were concerned the idea of allowing waivers to the community rating provision of the law:

“While we haven’t picked up any votes yet, this concept is already showing signs of losing a ton of them,” a senior Republican source said.

Centrist Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) indicated he is still a no on the healthcare bill and warned against allowing sick people to be charged more. He said the provision would effectively result in a return to the days before ­ObamaCare, when people with pre-existing conditions were routinely denied coverage.

“I want to make sure there is no denial of coverage based upon a pre-existing condition,” he said. “I know it’s not directly on point, but I think it has an effect.”

Even as Rep. Meadows was suggesting a deal was close (last week), House Speaker Paul Ryan was telling the Hill, “We’re at the concept stage right now.” And as Allahpundit noted earlier today, it seems the White House is going to keep cost-sharing subsidies going, as if it expects Obamacare to be around for a while longer. All of that to say, Rep. Meadows track record on predicting an imminent Obamacare compromise suggests it would be a good idea not to hold your breath waiting for one to appear.

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