Stories

Jonathan Swan Mar 23, 2017
SaveSave story

Obamacare repeal loses support of key GOP moderate

The leader of the moderate faction in the House, Charlie Dent, issued a statement late Wednesday evening saying he can't support the current healthcare bill. Key quote:

"I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans, particularly for low-to-moderate income and older individuals ... I hope that the House can step back from this vote and arbitrary deadline to focus on getting health care reform done right to ensure that American families have access to affordable health care."

Between the lines: Dent's statement is obviously catastrophic for the bill in its current form. But it should also be interpreted as a shot at the Freedom Caucus, which is in the midst of negotiating a deal with the White House to make the bill substantially more conservative. This is Dent, as leader of the moderate Tuesday Group, providing cover for the moderates. He's signaling that they won't be bullied into voting for a bill that could turn the 2018 midterms into a bloodbath.

What's next: The House GOP conference is meeting at 9am. We'll have a better idea then how many moderates have been lost if the bill makes a last minute lurch to the right.