Freedom Caucus chair questions if ObamaCare replacement will lower costs

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Monday night wondered whether his party’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare would ultimately lower healthcare costs.

“The biggest concern I have is, will it lower healthcare costs?” he asked on Fox News’s “Hannity."

"Until we get that answer we have to hold out judgment.”

Meadows added that the GOP is nearing a viable ObamaCare replacement, but said the party’s latest version falls short of its efforts in 2015.

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“Certainly we’re making progress,” he said. "I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the taxes present in the original version are no longer present. [But] we’ve got to do better. Hopefully with some amendments we can do that.

“This doesn’t even go as far as we went in 2015. We’ve got to find that sweet spot. We really need to look at some amendments to make sure that we get rid of the taxes.”

House Republicans earlier Monday released their long-awaited legislation for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, with plans to push the measure through committee votes later this week.

The two measures dismantle the core aspects of ObamaCare, including its subsidies to help people buy coverage, expansion of Medicaid, taxes and mandates for people to have insurance.

The bills also dramatically restructure the Medicaid program overall by capping federal payments, leaving in its place a new system centered on a tax credit to help people buy insurance instead.

The tax credit under the GOP’s plan ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 annually per individual, increasing with the person’s age.

The system would provide less financial assistance for low-income and older people than ObamaCare, but it could provide more assistance to younger people and those with higher incomes.

Republicans acknowledge their plan covers fewer people than ObamaCare, arguing that unlike that healthcare law they would not force people into buying health coverage through a mandate.

House Freedom Caucus conservatives like Meadows, who was joined by Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP Rep. Zeldin to lead call for second special counsel Doug Collins to run for House Judiciary chair Congress votes to expand deficit — and many in GOP are unhappy MORE (R-Texas) on "Hannity," have objected to the tax credit, characterizing it as a “new entitlement.”

The group’s members have enough votes to kill any legislation, but it remains to be seen whether they will actually vote against a bill dismantling the core of ObamaCare.

President Trump has made repealing and replacing ObamaCare an early focus of his administration, potentially fulfilling a longstanding GOP pledge to scrap the sweeping healthcare law.