Speed Reads

A change of heart

House Freedom Caucus signs on to new GOP health-care bill

The House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that it is onboard with the latest version of the GOP's American Health Care Act. The convincing factor for the far-right Republican faction, which opposed President Trump's first pass at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, was a new amendment negotiated by centrist Tuesday Group co-chairman Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).

The MacArthur Amendment enables states to waive the requirements to cover ObamaCare's essential health benefits and to not charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. The amendment was intended as an olive branch of sorts to the Freedom Caucus, which was dissatisfied with what it saw as a moderate first stab at health-care reform.

Freedom Caucus members argued the first iteration of the bill, which they deemed "ObamaCare lite," didn't go far enough to undo former President Barack Obama's signature health-care bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled the GOP's bill when it became clear it did not have enough Republican votes to pass.