by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Drucker of the Washington Examiner explains why efforts to restart the Obamacare replacement debate will face challenges.
[S]tung by charges that they are incapable of governing and broke their campaign promise to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law, Republicans resolved to give it another try.
“It’s too soon to be extremely optimistic, but it is [also] too soon to suggest that it’s time to put a fork in it and say it’s done,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the Freedom Caucus, the group of conservative insurgents that helped sink the AHCA, told reporters.
Informal conversations were set to resume to see if a compromise could be reached that satisfied the competing concerns of the Freedom Caucus insurgents, and moderates that coalesce as the Tuesday Group.
The two sides clashed, with Freedom Caucus conservatives demanding a repeal bill that aggressively dismantled the Affordable Care Act regulatory regime and moderates insisting that Americans who obtained coverage guarantees and insurance through the law’s Medicaid expansion not lose benefits.
House Republican leadership and the White House, both of which sought to resolve the three-week debate over the AHCA, offered no timeline or parameters for these fresh talks. Many Republicans were dismissive.
They view factional policy differences — a chasm that even Trump couldn’t bridge — as intractable. Others fingered the Freedom Caucus as unwilling to compromise, and untrustworthy in negotiations.
“I’m hearing some rumors that there’s an effort by the ‘no caucus’ to come up with a path, but I’ll believe it when it happens,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said.