The congressional Republican hardliners who have revolted against proposals floated in a leaked draft of a GOP Obamacare replacement plan now have the support of two outside conservative groups, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks
In a statement Tuesday titled “Club for Growth Supports Conservative Opposition to GOP Effort to Retain and Repair Obamacare,” the group’s president David McIntosh said that it “stands” with the members who have signaled objections to the recently surfaced text, which would include several Obamacare replacement provisions within the repeal bill Republicans are hoping to pass this spring. Likewise, the Tea Party group FreedomWorks said in a statement from CEO Adam Brandon that Republicans should follow the model of a 2015 bill that dismantled major parts of the law but was vetoed by President Obama.
“After nearly seven years, it’s time for Republicans to follow through on their promises and repeal ObamaCare by using the 2015 reconciliation bill as the baseline,” Brandon said. “It would be a stunning level of political hypocrisy if Republicans failed to follow through. Thankfully, principled conservatives are fighting for full repeal, not a watered down bill or ObamaCare-lite.”
The Club For Growth statement said the group urged that “the starting point for any repeal be the Obamacare repeal which was passed in Congress in 2015,” while pointing to companion bills introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), a House Freedom Caucus member, as the model for replacement.
House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) and House Republican Study Committee Chair Mark Walker (R-SC) have said they would have trouble voting for bill resembling the recently surfaced text and that GOP leaders risk losing the votes of many members of their groups, which represent a sizable portion of the House GOP caucus. Meanwhile, Sens. Paul, Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) signaled their support of the House hardliners in coordinated tweets Monday evening.
Among the issues conservatives are raising with the leaked draft are its reworking of the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies into refundable tax credits available to anyone purchasing individual insurance.
Amidst the uproar over the leaked draft, the key congressional GOPers working on the repeal effort have cautioned that it was a work in progress and they were still considering changes.
“I feel at the end of the day when we get everything done and right, we’re going to be unified on this,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said at a press conference Tuesday.