House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday indicated that a new proposed amendment to the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare has brought more Republicans on board with the plan.
When asked if the new amendment offered by moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and backed by the House Freedom Caucus will garner enough support to pass the bill, Ryan did not give a direct response. But he suggested that the amendment has prompted additional Republicans to support the legislation.
“It helps us get to consensus,” he said.
The amendment would allow states to opt out of certain Obamacare mandates if they set up high-risk pools instead. Ryan touted the amendment as a way to lower premiums and give states more choice while still protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.
MacArthur has been the only moderate engaged in negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus over changes to the bill. Many of the changes made to obtain Freedom Caucus support will likely alienate moderate members even more from a bill they largely opposed in the first place. It remains to be seen whether the pressure from the White House and other members will be enough to overcome moderates’ objections.
The White House is eager to get the bill through the House this week in advance of the 100-day mark of the Trump administration.