Freedom Caucus Will Back Revised GOP Health Bill

But it's not clear whether Republicans have enough votes to pass it yet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2017 1:33 PM CDT
Freedom Caucus Will Back New GOP Health Bill
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. winks during a news conference after a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017.    (Evan Vucci)

The conservative House Freedom Caucus announced its support Wednesday for a newly revised GOP health care bill, a month after the group's opposition forced Republican leaders to pull the legislation in an embarrassing retreat. The group's support, while significant, does not necessarily guarantee passage of the Republican bill to partially repeal and replace former President Obama's Affordable Care Act. A group of moderate Republicans was still reviewing the changes to the bill, and an unknown number remained opposed, the AP reports. The developments came days ahead of the 100-day mark of President Trump's time in office, as the White House pushes for fast action to revive the stalled health care measure and make good on seven years of GOP promises to get rid of "ObamaCare" and replace it with something better.

The proposed changes would let states get federal waivers to some coverage requirements Obama's law imposed on insurers. The revisions were authored in part by Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, leader of the Tuesday Group of House moderates, but a number of other members of the group feared the result could be to weaken important protections. Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the changes were helping the legislation gain support, but he stopped short of saying the plan has the votes the GOP would need to finally push the measure through the House. A White House looking for achievements has pressured GOP leaders to try pushing health care legislation through the House this week. That seems unlikely, and Ryan reiterated that the House will vote when Republicans have enough support to win. (More health care reform stories.)

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