Freedom Caucus chair says he'd vote against draft ObamaCare replacement

Freedom Caucus chair says he'd vote against draft ObamaCare replacement
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus told CNN Monday he would vote against any ObamaCare replacement bill that includes refundable tax credits, calling them another "entitlement program." 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was referring to a draft of an ObamaCare replacement bill created Feb. 10 and leaked last week.

It's unclear how much it has changed since two weeks ago, but the draft includes a refundable tax credit, based on age and not income, to help people buy health insurance. 

"What is conservative about a new entitlement program and a new tax increase? And should that be the first thing that the president signs of significance that we sent to the new president?" Meadows told CNN.
"A new Republican president signs a new entitlement and a new tax increase as his first major piece of legislation? I don't know how you support that — do you?"

Meadows's comments represent the difficulty Republicans face in coalescing around an ObamaCare replacement. He indicated that other members of the caucus may vote against the repeal bill if it contains the refundable tax credit.

Freedom Caucus members have endorsed a replacement bill by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE (R-Ky.) that would come with a tax deduction of up to $5,000 instead of a refundable tax credit. 

The caucus has asked leadership to take up a 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill that was vetoed by President Obama. They have said they won't vote for any bill that is "weaker" than the 2015 bill.