The latest bit of congressional Republican incompetence looks like its headed for a course correction, thanks to House conservatives.
The House Freedom Caucus is reportedly “concerned” with language in the new GOP Obamacare reform plan that would exempt members of Congress from the effects of the new law.
House Freedom Caucus has concerns w language exempting their own insurance from GOP Obamacare proposal
— Daniel Newhauser (@dnewhauser) April 26, 2017
The exemption drew widespread criticism for Republicans — who were accused of being hypocritical in their desire to repeal Obamacare regulations for Americans but not for themselves.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is now telling reporters that the exemption will be removed from the bill.
Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows now says he is 100% confident this exemption will be taken out of the bill. https://t.co/oskLG0tOs3
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) April 26, 2017
And Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., of the Republican Study Committee has also made assurances that members of Congress will follow the same laws as the American people.
RSC Chair Mark Walker: "We're going to make sure that members of Congress are under the same rules as our constituents" https://t.co/3Ah9dCwM8S
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 26, 2017
That the RSC and the Freedom Caucus seem to agree about ending this exemption is a sign that it will likely be taken out. But the fact that it was in the bill in the first place was a major unforced error on part of Republicans. And it’s the moderates’ fault.
The amendment with the exemption was proposed by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., the co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group. While the Freedom Caucus opposes the exemption provision on MacArthur’s amendment, the caucus announced Wednesday that they will support the bill writ-large, placing the fate of the American Health Care Act in the hands of the moderates.
NEWS: Freedom Caucus announces official position of support for AHCA with MacArthur amendment included
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) April 26, 2017
The Tuesday Group moderates and liberals in the Republican conference have been the single largest obstruction to passing health care reform because of their insistence on breaking the GOP promise for full repeal and instead working to “fix” the legislation.
Their wavering support for even giving states the choice to opt-out of Obamacare’s mandated essential benefits and other regulations is currently jeopardizing attempts to reform Obamacare.
Note of caution: even if most of Freedom Caucus comes out in support of tweaked bill, that doesn't mean House GOP has enough votes.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 25, 2017
The purist centrists are obstructing the GOP’s Obamacare repeal agenda. Unwilling to keep the GOP’s promise to fully repeal Obamacare, the moderates killed the American Health Care Act when conservatives in the HFC introduced compromise amendments to repeal only some of Obamacare’s regulations.
The public outcry caused by this exemption language only serves to make the GOP effort to reform Obamacare more unpopular with the American people.
One wonders, was this language included to sabotage attempts at reform? Or, more likely, are Republicans just that stupid?