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Freedom Caucus Chair Meadows: Replacement Sets ‘New Entitlement, Keeps Some Taxes, Doesn’t Repeal All of Obamacare’

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) stated that the GOP’s Obamacare replacement “sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare.”

Meadows said that some progress has been made on the bill, and “I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that some of the taxes that were in the initial version have been eliminated, and so, we can applaud that.”

He added that “we don’t really get rid of the Cadillac tax altogether. It’s still in there, it just comes back in in eight years. And so, we really need to look at some amendments, to make sure that we get rid of the taxes, we put something on President Obama’s desk a few months ago, and to suggest that what we put on President Trump’s desk sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare. We’ve got to do better, and hopefully, with some amendments, we can do that.

Meadows stated that getting enough votes is “one of the hurdles that we have.” He continued, “This doesn’t even go as far as we went in 2015 to repeal all the Medicaid expansion, it still keeps that. And so, as we’re looking at that, we’ve got to find that sweet spot. One of the concerns I have, the biggest concern I have..will it actually lower healthcare costs? And until we get that answer, we’ve got to hold out judgment.”

Fellow guest Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) agreed that the Cadillac tax is kept in and the replacement plan creates a new entitlement. He also stated that “We are going to force citizens, it looks like, to end up paying for people’s healthcare that are illegally here.”

Meadows stated that one amendment he’ll offer will expand the use of health saving’s accounts, and that even though the replacement already has a provision on HSAs, “it makes it tough.” And that none of the subsidies go to funding HSAs. Gohmert added that the replacement has a cap on how much you can put into an HSA, and “we shouldn’t be penalizing states that didn’t expand Medicaid.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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