Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows met with the Vice President late Monday after which he told reporters the caucus was “intrigued” at an offer to give states an option to waive two provisions of Obamacare.
Meadows established that the White House had not offered legislative text for a deal, but expects text within 24 hours. CNN reported that Meadows told reporters the provisions involved were the “essential health benefits” mandate, which dictates what insurers must cover, and a community health ratings requirement on insurers which prohibits charging higher premiums based on health status.
Conservatives have lobbied to have the two Obamacare provisions strike from the House Leadership’s Obamacare replacement plan, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The potential new deal appears to be an alternative option that would allow states to opt out.
There is no final deal and no Freedom Caucus members have changed their positions on AHCA, was the message from Meadows. “There is no deal in principle; there is a solid idea that was offered,” he said according to the Hill. Lawmakers indicated the White House may be looking for a vote later this week, but Meadows warned of voting too soon and without time to allow the Congressional Budget Office to offer post-amendment analysis. He did offer that they are encouraged by the progress that appears to be happening.
Some members of the moderate Tuesday Group, which could also stall passage of the AHCA, met with Pence earlier in the day at the White House according to the report.
Over the weekend Sen. Rand Paul, who has opposed the AHCA, met and golfed with the President in Virginia. Paul took a brief moment to tell reporters that he was “very optimistic” about progress on repealing Obamacare.
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