Freedom Caucus Says Yes to Zombie Trumpcare
On Wednesday afternoon, the House Freedom Caucus officially announced its support for a revised version of the American Health Care Act, a.k.a. Trumpcare or Ryancare. The announcement comes after weeks of attempts to revive the previously failed Obamacare-repeal legislation in the House and following negotiations that produced a proposed amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur. The caucus’ declaration of its support means the new incarnation of Zombie Trumpcare now has at least 80 percent of the HFC to a “yes.” The caucus said in a statement that retooled Trumpcare now has its support even though “the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare.” It is unclear how many of the more moderate Republican House members the revised text will frighten off or win over—and chances of the revised Trumpcare making it through the Senate as is remain very slim. President Donald Trump publicly blamed the Freedom Caucus for the failure of Trumpcare the first time around. (The president had previously tweeted that conservatives should line up to “fight” both Democrats and the hardline-conservative Freedom Caucus.) With the caucus now on board, other House Republicans are in a tough spot: They risk having the blame shifted to them for tanking Trumpcare again or risk receiving blowback for voting for deeply unpopular measures. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) told a huddle of reporters Wednesday afternoon that the Zombie Trumpcare negotiations and revision have been “an exercise in blame-shifting” among Republican factions.