Several House Freedom Caucus members are close to throwing their support behind a new version of the GOP health-care bill, several White House officials and Republican lawmakers told The Washington Post Tuesday.
The officials said three of the ultra-conservative group's leaders — Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) — hinted on Tuesday that they will back the revised bill. The GOP's earlier plan fizzled in March, when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor when it became clear it didn't have the votes. Most members of the House Freedom Caucus said at the time they would not vote for the bill as it was written.
Officials told the Post that the revised bill would make it so insurers could secure a federal waiver that kept them from having to cover certain essential health benefits established by the federal government, and while it would still require that people with preexisting conditions receive coverage, they could be charged higher premiums. The language was crafted by Meadows and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the more moderate Tuesday Group. Several Republicans told the Post that they are skeptical this new legislation would receive enough support, either, and GOP leaders in the House are not spearheading the discussions with the Freedom Caucus.