Is Obamacare Repeal Back On the Front Burner?

Reports from Washington are frustratingly incomplete, but it appears that the Trump administration is renewing its effort to repeal Obamacare. Reuters strikes a remarkably optimistic note:

The majority of House Freedom Caucus members will vote for a Republican healthcare bill if changes offered by the White House are included in the legislation, the head of the conservative group of House Republicans said on Thursday.

U.S. Representative Mark Meadows said the group wants to see health insurance coverage waivers related to community rating protections with the exception of gender, essential health benefits and guaranteed issue.

“If those offers that were made over the last couple of days actually appear in the legislation, the majority, if not almost all of the Freedom Caucus, will vote for this bill,” he said at a Politico news event.

It appears that the administration may be adopting ideas that were advanced by Peter Nelson, my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, here and here. If so, it would be a very good thing.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner indicates that there is more to the administration’s current proposal:

A House committee on Thursday voted to advance an amendment to the Obamacare repeal bill that would create high-risk pools and risk sharing to help pay for the care of states’ sickest, most costly patients.

The motion, added to the American Health Care Act, was passed 9-2 along party lines and viewed as an effort to garner support from centrist Republicans after conservatives began discussing the possibility of allowing states to waive Obamacare mandates that prohibit insurance companies from shifting costs to sicker patients.

It sounds like the administration’s new proposal may require states to implement guaranteed-issue high-risk pool coverage if the state waives out of Obamacare’s guaranteed issue language.

As always, the details are critical. The most we can say for now is that the Trump administration is making a renewed push on Obamacare repeal, and there are some very good ideas in the mix.

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