Coming next week? NJ Rep. Tom MacArthur’s and the Freedom Caucus amendment to “Repeal and Replace.”

The deal for a new “Repeal and Replace” House bill has been brokered by the centrist Tuesday Group, co-chaired by Republican NJ Tom MacArthur (CD 3), and hard-right Freedom Caucus head Mark Meadows.They hope the amendment will be voted on and passed next week. It would be sweet icing on the cake for Trump’s first 100 days in office. For us it would be bitter icing. 

The amendment may appear appealing to moderates because it reinstates six essential health benefits as the federal standard, which moderates could like. The catch, however, is that it creates an option for states to obtain Limited Waivers from certain federal standards, a provision the Freedom Caucus likes. You can read the essential benefits and waivers in this one-page draft which Politico obtained: here.

The White House wants this showdown now, but Politico indicates, “Republican congressional leaders are skeptical the vote can happen so quickly.”

it is also unclear whether the bill would even pass. The Freedom Caucus seems to be on board. However, The Washington Post says, “House Republican leaders are playing down the likelihood that changes to the GOP health-care measure would win over enough conservative and moderate holdouts.”

Interestingly enough it is just possible that NJ Republican representatives could join with their colleague MacArthur to seal the deal. MacArthur (an occasional moderate) had said he would vote Yes for last month’s “Repeal & Replace” bill which soon crashed and burned. However, NJ was the state with largest number of Republican Representatives (four) who said they would not support it. We want to be sure that Republicans Rodney Frelinghuysen (CD 11), Leonard Lance (CD 7), Chris Smith (CD 4), and Frank LoBiondo (CD 2) don’t change their mind.

Speaker Paul Ryan said yesterday Republicans are putting the “finishing touches” on an effort to revive their ObamaCare replacement bill. Trump is salivating.

Stay tuned as our ever hopeful erratic President and conservative Speaker try to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Comments (2)

  1. ken bank

    I’m taking a Machiavellian approach to the whole thing. In the past I supported ACA because, even though I didn’t qualify for subsidies on the exchange, I believed in the long run it would stabilize the insurance marketplace and I would benefit accordingly along with everybody else. However, if TMac’s bill passes, I won’t lose any sleep for several reasons. One is that I’ll benefit from tax credits that I am currently not eligible for. Second, there is no way NJ will ever waive the essential health benefits requirement, even Christie with his campaign for addiction treatment would oppose it. Ironically, the people who would suffer most are the redneck morons in states like Texas and the rest of the deep south who elected Trump and the GOP Congress in the first place. The trailer trash crackers who voted for the GOP and suffer from chronic diseases like Diabetes (probably from eating all that bar-b-cue, fried catfish and pecan pie) will see their premiums and health care costs skyrocket). To be honest, I’m sorry the North won the Civil War, but maybe there is still hope if white voters, especially men, in those states stop voting based on their testosterone levels and vote for candidates based on their own rational self-interest.

  2. Bill Orr (Post author)

    This is just a short amendment that affects Insurance Market Provisions – not Medicaid which the past R&R and revised bill would turn into a state block grant with less funding in a few years.

    It allow waivers for the Essential Health Benefits which destroys the very purpose of having the Essential Benefits in the first place, and insurance companies would press for some waivers.

    Other items in the last R&R bill are unchanged, items you might dislike.

    Also as indicated above, what we have seen is only a draft but if the Freedom Caucus likes it I strongly suspect I will not.


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