Tags: freedom caucus | mark meadows | ahca

Mark Meadows: New Healthcare Bill 'Drives Down Premiums'

Image: Mark Meadows: New Healthcare Bill 'Drives Down Premiums'
(AP)

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Thursday, 04 May 2017 09:21 AM

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who had initially opposed the American Health Care Act, said Thursday, just hours before the measure was to come to a House vote, that he eventually changed his mind because there is now a bill that is better than it was when it started.

"Actually, it drives down premiums," the North Carolina Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "The first bill that came out actually had an increase in premiums in the short term."

The amendments, though, drive down premiums and make sure people with pre-existing conditions are covered, said Meadows, and the revised bill "is a step in the right direction."

Meadows said he's been also working with senators to improve the bill further in the Senate before it comes back for a final vote, but meanwhile, "we're optimistic that we'll pass it out of the House today."

The congressman also argued against contentions made by economic analyst Steve Rattner that the revised bill does not adequately cover people with pre-existing conditions.

"They would go into a high-risk pool," Rattner said. "There are estimates that the high-risk pool would need $330 billion to fund; $130 billion was in it before. You added $8 billion yesterday. That leaves a $192 billion shortfall. I'm not sure that you can say that everybody who has pre-existing conditions will continue to be able to buy insurance at an affordable price."

Meadows replied: "Part of your analysis is just not correct . . . When we look at pre-existing conditions, one of the things in this bill is that if you have insurance and stay continually covered and you get a diagnosis, your premiums can't go up. So part of that number that you're talking about would suggest that they have to go into a high-risk pool. That's just not the case."

Both Rattner and show host Joe Scarborough also criticized House Republicans for pushing the bill forward without a rating from the Congressional Budget Office, but Meadows said lawmakers have looked at an individual analysis while looking to drive down costs, and the "actuarial values and cost estimates would indicate lower premiums as much as 38 percent."

There will be a CBO score as the bill works its way through the Senate, said Meadows.

Meanwhile, Meadows said the first AHCA legislation would have made 74 percent of the people in his state worse off, but under the new bill "I don't see any losers."

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who had initially opposed the American Health Care Act, said Thursday, just hours before the measure was to come to a House vote, that he eventually changed his mind because there is now a bill that is better than it was...
freedom caucus, mark meadows, ahca
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2017-21-04
 

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