With the potential for a government shutdown looming over Washington, it appears that Congressional Republicans have reinvigorated their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The recently released “MacArthur Amendment” to the American Health Care Act’s (AHCA) is reportedly an attempt to bring together conservatives like the Freedom Caucus and more moderate Republicans like the Tuesday Group. The amendment would give states the option to pursue a waiver of federal standards that Obamacare imposes.
In other words, states wanting to opt out would have to show their intention to “reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”
Last month, Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the first iteration of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) just hours before a vote was expected to take place after convincing President Trump that the bill likely would not pass.
The controversial legislation had drawn ire from both sides of the Grand Old Party. Budget hawks such as Rep. Justin Amash believed that the bill did not go far enough in repealing the ACA’s framework, while moderate members like Pennsylvania’s Chalie Dent came out against the bill because they believed too many people would lose coverage.
The new compromise could give both sides what they believe is best for their respective constituents, by providing individual states the option to opt out of expensive and burdensome regulations even if moderate members of Congress are not willing to vote to do so at the federal level.
Fiscal conservatives should watch the upcoming developments very closely and urge all members of Congress to keep their promises on this crucial issue.