A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus Wednesday came out against the revised Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, vowing that "I promised my constituents that I would fight for a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act."
"As amended, the American Health Care Act would not be the clean repeal of Obamacare I promised and would not lower premiums to pre-ACA levels," said Rep. Andy Biggs, 58, a first-term Arizona Republican and former state senator. "It would also require states to petition the federal government for a temporary waiver from some Obamacare mandates.
"Furthermore, the disastrous ACA framework would stay in place," he added. "This version does not change the three-phase repeal process that originally gave apprehension about the totality of Obamacare repeal.
"This bill will likely not receive a [Congressional Budget Office] score before a vote."
Biggs' opposition came hours after several Freedom Caucus members said they would support a revised AHCA that would allow states to apply for waivers from some of Obamacare's requirements under certain conditions.
House Republicans had met earlier Wednesday with New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, a member of the moderate Tuesday Group, to discuss the amendment.
Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin pulled the AHCA from a floor vote twice last month amid strong opposition by caucus members.
Ryan told reporters Wednesday that the amendment provided "a great way to lower premiums, give states more flexibility while protecting people with pre-existing conditions."
When asked whether the House would vote next week on the revised bill, the House speaker responded: "We'll see. We'll vote on it when we get the votes."
Republicans in the lower chamber have been under strong pressure to deliver on years of promises to repeal Obamacare — and President Donald Trump re-started talks on the AHCA as he nears his 100th day in office on Saturday.
Biggs, however, said the amendment and other changes were not enough to gain his support.
"The MacArthur amendment is an effort to make the AHCA better, but it does not meet my constituents' threshold for repeal," he said, referring to the waiver addition.
"I am currently working on further reforms to the AHCA that could alleviate some of my concerns.
"I am committed to working with my colleagues to address my concerns leading up to the final House vote, and I stand ready to keep my promise to repeal Obamacare."
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