Meadows: Freedom Caucus would back bill that got rid of 3 ObamaCare regs

Meadows: Freedom Caucus would back bill that got rid of 3 ObamaCare regs
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The majority of the House Freedom Caucus would vote for a healthcare bill that gets rid of three of ObamaCare's insurer regulations, the group’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), said Thursday. 

The caucus has withheld its support from the GOP's ObamaCare repeal bill last month, saying it does nothing to drive down insurance premiums. 

But in an effort to sway the caucus, Vice President Pence offered this week to get rid of three regulations: essential health benefits, which mandate what services insurers must cover; community rating, which says insurers can't charge sick people more for insurance; and guaranteed issue, which says insurers must cover people with pre-existing conditions. 

"The majority of the Freedom Caucus would be favorably inclined to vote for that," Meadows said at a Politico event Thursday, adding that they would need to see the bill text before committing. 

Meadows and Freedom Caucus members argue that those regulations drive up premium costs for healthy people. 

"We've got to act to lower premiums. Until I'm convinced that it does that, we won't vote yes," he said. 

The changes would have to come in conjunction with an amendment creating an invisible federal high risk pool for people with costly medical conditions with high premiums, he said. 

That amendment, sponsored by Reps. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) and David SchweikertDavid SchweikertFive obstacles to Trump's infrastructure ambitions The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill GOP Senate hopeful Kelli Ward leads challengers in internal poll MORE (R-Ariz.), is expected to be added today through the Rules Committee. 

But it's unlikely that moderate Republicans would support a healthcare bill eliminating those regulations, making it difficult to pass the House.