House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows: ’11 or 12 Governors’ Support Obamacare Block Grant Repeal Plan

Mark Meadows
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
SEAN MORAN

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) told reporters on Thursday morning that “11 or 12 governors” support former Sen. Rick Santorum’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare through block grants.

Breitbart News reported on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s plan to block grant health care to the states. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), as well as Rep. Meadows, endorse the plan.

During the Thursday meeting at Bloomberg’s D.C. office, Meadows revealed that “11 or 12 governors” support the concept of block granting health care to the states.

Santorum told Breitbart News that the plan will allow Republican governors to design more conservative alternatives to Obamacare. Governors will present the idea “as a solution outside of Washington.”

Meadows told reporters that the Santorum plan has “real merit.”

The idea of block granting health care to the states continues to gain steam. During the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearings on Wednesday, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak supported the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal plan.

Doak explained:

I’m not convinced that Obamacare waivers are going to be the solution our problem. What we really need is an innovative and long-term solution that truly returns power back to the states to implement ideas tailored to each state’s specific needs and health problems. That’s why I’ve been encouraged by proposals out there like one from Sens. Graham and Cassidy, which would repeal the individual and employer mandates, and block grant dollars to the states. This kind of leadership and flexibility will provide long-term stability to our markets. If some states want Obamacare regulations, that’s great. That works for them, but that isn’t working for Oklahoma. We should have the opportunity to do something different.

Commissioner Doak’s support for the new Obamacare repeal plan reveals a growing interest in states to manage their own health care programs. Four other commissioners during the hearing supported the idea of allowing states to manage their own health care systems.

Congressman Meadows suggested that the budgetary reconciliation instructions can be rewritten to include more changes to insurance regulations, to allow more competition across state lines, and expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Even though Congress would have to pass an Obamacare repeal plan before the end of September, Meadows contends that there remains a real possibility that Republicans can repeal and replace Obamacare.

Meadows declared, “It has the possibility if they can move it in the Senate before the end of September — certainly they’ve got to move it in before September 30th. We still have, you know — time after that. So if they can move it before September 30th I think that you have it.”

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