President Donald Trump may have told NBC News on Monday that he is serious about reviving health care reform, but early reports suggest that the second attempt at a repeal-and-replace bill for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, isn't going much better than the initial effort.
Republican leaders are accusing the House Freedom Caucus of costing them votes by making unrealistic demands for the bill even as the more conservative faction insists it's House Speaker Paul Ryan who is blocking the new White House bill, according to a report by Axios.
"While we haven't picked up any votes yet, this concept is already showing signs of losing a ton of them," one senior Republican source told Axios.
Meanwhile, a Freedom Caucus member told Axios that "we've never ever wanted to go after pre-existing conditions. That's spin (well a lie) meant to undermine us. Pence said he supports our plan of reforming, and funding changes to high risk pools, specifically to deal with pre-existing conditions."
This statement refers to the fact that House Freedom Caucus members want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's requirement that insurance companies use community rating, or the practice of charging the same rate to everyone within a certain age group. Although this wouldn't directly eliminate the prohibition on denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions, it would make it possible for insurance companies to significantly increase premiums on those individuals. Critics claim that this would effectively make it impossible for many people to afford insurance.
Conservatives are also upset that many Obamacare regulations won't be waived, that insurance companies may still be barred from charging higher premiums to sick individuals, and that Republican leaders haven't taken a stand against regulations that cap how much insurance companies can use their revenue for profit.