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Report: House GOP leaders to kill lawmaker exemption in health care bill

GOP health care bill

House GOP leaders are moving to kill a provision in their revised healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that allows members of Congress and their staffs to continue their Obamacare coverage while allowing states to opt out, according to a Politico report.

The report said a new bill, crafted by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, was posted on the House Rules Committee's website late Wednesday and it strikes the provision. Vox had identified the loophole in the new version of the GOP health care bill that would have exempted lawmakers and their staff from the the new health care plan. 

House leadership also posted language for the new agreement on the main health care bill between Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-New Jersey, a leader of the moderate Tuesday Group, and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, speaks with the media following a conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington April 26, 2017. Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

This comes after the Freedom Caucus endorsed a new proposed piece to the health care bill Wednesday that MacArthur had introduced, which would allow states to receive federal waivers for certain Obamacare coverage requirements in an effort to encourage "fair health insurance premiums."

"We think the MacArthur amendment is a great way to lower premiums, give states more flexibility, while protecting people with preexisting conditions," Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, told reporters Wednesday following a closed-door House GOP Conference meeting. "We think it's constructive."

While some lawmakers leaving the conference meeting suggested that a vote next week on the revised health care bill is possible, Ryan emphasized, "We'll vote on it when we get the votes."

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