Freedom Caucus Chair: We’ll Back AHCA If Changes Discussed With WH Included

Tom Williams/CQPHO

The chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), said on Thursday morning that if offers from the White House for changes to the bill to repeal Obamacare come through, most of the Freedom Caucus will support the legislation.

At an event hosted by Politico, Meadows said that the Freedom Caucus has been in discussions with the White House about potential changes to the American Health Care Act. And if Republicans include most of the changes discussed in the bill, the “majority of Freedom Caucus would be favorably inclined to vote for that,” Meadows said.

He said that they have been discussing several waivers for states, including for the Essential Health Benefits, which mandate that insurers cover a list of specific areas like maternity care.

Meadows and other members of the Freedom Caucus said that they have developed a good relationship with the White House, particularly with Vice President Mike Pence.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said that he enjoys “whenever he spends time with us, and he’s been doing that a lot lately.”

Meadows explained that part of why the AHCA failed initially was because it was rushed through the House.

“When we read about a piece of legislation in your publication for the first time, it’s a problem,” Meadows told the Politico reporters moderating the discussion. “It’s important that we have these vigorous debates.”

Toward the end of the discussion, Meadows said that he is open to keeping some aspects of Obamacare, including some subsidies for low-income Americans.

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