04/03/2017

GOP Centrists, Not Freedom Caucus, Are Blocking Deal To Replace Obamacare [Watch]

Avik Roy, Forbes.com

The conventional wisdom—repeated by President Trump—is that the right-wing House Freedom Caucus is singlehandedly blocking Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare. In fact, Freedom Caucus members have been reaching out to the larger bloc of “no” votes—GOP moderates—to find a path forward. Moderates are rebuffing them. Here’s why.

Moderates hang up on hard-liners

As I discussed last week, the contours of a deal exist that could satisfy the concerns of both the House Freedom Caucus and GOP pragmatists. They involve replacing the AHCA’s flat tax credit with a means-tested one that focuses on offering assistance to the working poor, and pairing that change with rolling back more of Obamacare’s premium-increasing insurance regulations.

But members of the Tuesday Group, the countervailing faction of House GOP moderates, are saying no to any phone calls from members of the Freedom Caucus. “If that call comes in,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.), “just hang up.”

As Eliza Collins and Herb Jackson of USA Today have reported, members of the House Freedom Caucus reached out to the Tuesday Group to see if the two blocs of “no” votes could come to an agreement that they could then take to House leadership to fix the GOP replacement bill, the American Health Care Act.

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