Just an hour after Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows publicly announced that his conservative wing of the Republican party will now support a revised Obamacare replacement bill which incorporates the so-called MacArthur Amendment, Axios, quoting Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, is reporting that a new vote could be called for as early as this Friday.
A Friday health care vote isn't "outside the realm," Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker told Axios, adding that people are discussing a Friday vote and things are "even trending that direction."
"Most of them like what they see, so we're considering to grow the vote, and when we're ready, we'll move," said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
As we noted previously, the "MacArthur Amendment" (summarized here) effectively allows individual states to 'opt out' of certain Obamacare regulations which require minimum coverage and restrict the ability to insurers to charge varying rates based on an individual's health.
And here is the official statement released by the Freedom Caucus earlier:
"Over the past couple of months, House conservatives have worked tirelessly to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make it better for the American people. Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal.
The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA. While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare.”
Mission statement of the House Freedom Caucus:
“The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety, and prosperity of all Americans.”
Of course, only time will tell if appealing to the more conservative wing of the Republican party will now result in defections of more centrist votes within the party as we noted before that some 50 moderate Republicans are still uncertain or oppose the latest plan.
Of course, given that the previous healthcare vote resulted in a complete embarrassment for the new Trump administration we're certain Paul Ryan will want to make absolutely sure he has the required votes before the process begins.
As John Boehnor said best, "Republicans have never, ever, not once agreed on what a healthcare bill should look like."