by Dani Graham
The House Freedom Caucus, the conservative arm of the House of Representatives, released a statement on Wednesday confirming their support for the GOP healthcare bill as long as it contains an amendment brokered by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the House Freedom Caucus Chairman.
“Over the past couple of months, House conservatives have worked tirelessly to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make it better for the American people. Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal.
The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA. While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare.”
The MacArthur amendment gives states the ability to opt-out of certain federal standards in an effort to lower premium costs, expand coverage to more people or to advance another benefit for the people of their state. One of these must apply in order for a State to apply for a Limited Waiver in order for them to be granted a reprieve from any of the federal standards.
It was the Freedom Caucus who helped to derail the Republican healthcare bill last month when they felt it didn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare. The bill was pulled before it’s planned vote after it became clear they didn’t have enough votes to pass it.
The House Republican’s are one step closer to passing the bill before it goes to the Senate. Now that the Freedom Caucus has approved the bill all eyes will be on the moderate Republicans to see if they can reach the 216 votes needed for it to pass.