At least one conservative group is giving the thumbs up to the GOP’s revised American Health Care Act. The initial AHCA raised too many red flags for many conservatives. The House Freedom Caucus, for instance, played a large part in killing the bill, arguing it was too Obamacare familiar. It merely replaced individual and employer mandates with insurance mandates, did not curtail Medicaid expansion, and the Congressional Budget Office predicted it would raise premiums in the first two years. Club for Growth opposed the bill for many of the same reasons.
Yet, conservatives are taking a second look at the bill now that the drafters have made some revisions. The Family Research Council is satisfied with the changes, particularly because it will be a “pro-family” and “pro-life” bill.
"Family Research Council will score in favor of the American Health Care Act of 2017 because it provides the best path forward to re-establish the fundamental federal policy that abortion is not health care, to redirect funding away from Planned Parenthood, and to provide American families improved health insurance options.
"It's time that Republican Members of Congress show they are serious about uprooting one of the many egregious policies of the Obama years. After entrusting the GOP with authority to lead the country based upon their campaign promises, now is the time to transform those promises into policy. The American people are depending on Congress to save them from the ill-effects of Obamacare.
"We applaud the conservative Members of Congress that have been working to ensure the replace portion of the repeal bill is both pro-life and pro-family. The measure not only reapplies to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized but it also contains significant steps to reduce healthcare premiums.
"AHCA repeals the Obamacare premium tax credits, which subsidize abortion on demand. AHCA would also eliminate the Obamacare employer and individual mandate penalties, thereby allowing employers or individuals to forgo offering or purchasing coverage if doing so violates their conscience. AHCA's Obamacare replacement components include pro-life funding restrictions regarding tax credits, the Patient and State Stability Fund, and the Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program.
"We believe that AHCA's abortion funding restrictions are budgetary and should therefore survive any Byrd Rule point of order in the Senate. If, in the unfortunate circumstance the Senate Parliamentarian were to rule that these pro-life protections violate the Byrd Rule, we will not support the bill."Family Research Council urges the House of Representatives to approve the American Health Care Act and intends to score in support," concluded Perkins.
Earlier this month the Club for Growth also indicated it is slowly warming to the bill, especially after Vice President Mike Pence offered a compromise that allows states to ask for waivers from the law's regulations.
Asked when the bill will get its second chance, Sean Spicer said at the Monday White House press briefing that will happen when they are convinced it has the votes.