GOP centrist leader to oppose healthcare plan

GOP centrist leader to oppose healthcare plan
© Greg Nash
The leader of a centrist group of House Republicans said late Wednesday that he will oppose the GOP's ObamaCare replacement legislation. 

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group, said in a statement that the bill to repeal and replace the 2010 healthcare law "misses the mark."
 
Dent had previously expressed concerns about the bill's rollback of the Medicaid expansion. His formal opposition could open the door to more centrists voting against the GOP leadership's proposal. 
 
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Dent warned the bill would result in insurance coverage losses.

"After careful deliberation, I cannot support the bill and will oppose it. I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans, particularly for low-to-moderate income and older individuals," Dent said. 
 
Dent's announcement came as a meeting between GOP leaders and members of the Tuesday Group stretched late into Wednesday night. 
 
GOP leaders plan to bring the bill for a vote on Thursday. 
 
Earlier Wednesday evening, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said they were hoping to negotiate changes to the bill with President Trump. Those alterations could include repealing ObamaCare's essential health benefits that require minimum insurance requirements. 

But it's a change that could alienate centrists who GOP leaders were already struggling to convince to get on board with the legislation. 

Dent was among the nine Republicans to vote against a budget resolution in January that took the first step toward repealing ObamaCare.