House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he expects an Obamacare repeal bill to pass by the end of May.
Rumors started spreading last week that House Republicans were close to a deal on repealing Obamacare, and now Congressman Mark Meadows says a repeal bill will pass by the end of May. The agreement, brokered by the House Freedom Caucus chairman and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), would allow states to eliminate Obamacare’s community rating system — a rule that prohibits health insurers from pricing health care plans based on age, gender, or health status. States that repeal Obamacare’s community rating rules would have to join a federal high-risk pool or establish a local high-risk pool to obtain the waiver.
The deal, known as the MacArthur amendment, would also reinstate Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits, although states could waive Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits if they were to prove that eliminating those regulations would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or “advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”
Meadows told Breitbart News that the waiver serves as a conservative compromise to repeal Obamacare. He said, “I think the waiver, while not a perfect solution, does provide an option to find common ground between more moderate and conservative elements of the Republican conference.”
Meadows added, “The waivers give states the authority and the flexibility to do what they need to do. That’s a critical component of what we need to do to fix health care and give the states the ability the instill more of the free market in health care and drive prices down. I’m encouraged by it and hope that we can get the 216 votes for it. We can certainly look back at the involvement of the White House on behalf of all Americans and give them access to affordable health care.”
The House Freedom Caucus chairman added that he will be working with conservative senators to continue to push an even more conservative repeal bill in the Senate. “I am having conversations with my colleagues in the Senate,” he explained, “where we can push for even more conservative solutions, because it was more difficult to push amendments procedurally in the House.”
Meadows commended the actions of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Congressman Tom MacArthur for bringing the Obamacare repeal package this close to passage. He said:
Not only have we made good progress, we have to get give a good shout out to Tom MacArthur and the President and the Vice President for their efforts in the last couple of weeks. It would be a mistake to suggest that had Tom MacArthur, the President, and the Vice President have not gotten involved in this process, then we would not have the options now for everyone to consider. Tom has worked closely hard with Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and the committee to make sure that what we do is keeping in line with repealing and replacing Obamacare and drives down premiums and keeps pre-existing conditions.
Meadows told Breitbart News, “I fully expect that we will repeal most aspects of Obamacare by the end of May. It may have been a deterrent in the first 100 days, but by the end of the first 120 days or so it will be seen as a significant accomplishment. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, as the as song used to say. We will have an excellent finish.”