Last month, the Paul Ryan-led American Health Care Act went down in fairly spectacular fashion. At a press conference to announce the bill had been pulled, Speaker Ryan pulled no punches and said, “It’s been a disappointing day for us.”
Well, people love a good comeback story and now it seems as though House Republicans are attempting one. When the bill initially failed, moderate House Republicans thought certain segments of AHCA went too far in stripping away portions of the Affordable Care Act, while Freedom Caucus Republicans argued the bill didn’t do enough to tear Obamacare asunder. Now, House Republicans are attempting to bridge some of these divides in order to get ACA repealed.
According to The Hill and Politico, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) are trying to broker a deal between the Freedom Caucus, of which Rep. Meadows is the chairman, and the moderate Tuesday Group that counts Rep. MacArthur as its co-chair.
One crucial part of this new, developing measure is that the states would now be able to decide whether they want to keep the ACA’s essential health benefits, which mandate that insurers provide coverage for services such as mental health care and prescription drugs.
Based on what’s been seen, this new developing amendment wouldn’t directly address the cuts to Medicaid or the coverage losses that have stuck in the craw of House moderates such as MacArthur and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). And that seems to be enough to still make moderate GOP members wary of supporting the zombie-like healthcare bill.
In the aforementioned story from The Hill, when an aide to a moderate House Republican was asked about the bill, they flatly said: “There’s no deal.”