by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A House conservative group formerly chaired by Vice President Mike Pence plans to issue their healthcare demands to Republican senators amid growing reports that the bill has moved further to the left.
The 151-member Republican Study Committee is sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., detailing what the group’s members want to see in a bill repealing and replacing Obamacare, raising new questions about whether Republicans will be able to come together to pass the legislation.
Republican Study Committee members say in the draft letter they would like to see many conservative policies in the House-passed American Health Care Act preserved in whatever Obamacare bill emerges from the Senate.
This includes phasing out Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020. They also want to keep the repeal of all taxes under Obamacare, an area where Republicans broadly agree but raises questions about how to fund the healthcare law.
House conservatives also want to block federal family planning funds for cancer screening, testing and birth control from going toward medical facilities that also perform abortions and ban tax credits from going toward health insurance plans that cover abortions. …
… The Republican Study Committee continues to support a controversial amendment that would allow some states to apply for waivers to opt out of insurance mandates, including the obligation for insurers to cover a range of medical benefits, and for them to charge people who are the same age the same amount for coverage regardless of their healthcare status.