Reinforcing that the Trump doctrine is shaping up to be "oops," Republican congressman Mark Meadows (R-TK), chairman of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, reportedly teared up when he learned the American Health Care Act he co-authored wouldn't have protected his late family members with pre-existing conditions.
As Freedom Caucus leader, Meadows was instrumental in getting the AHCA passed. The group had blocked an earlier version of the bill on the grounds that it wasn't conservative enough. Their main sticking point: Requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. Once the AHCA was changed to allow states to obtain waivers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more, it passed the House at the beginning of this month.
This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its score of the AHCA. It found the bill would cause 23 million Americans to lose health insurance and did not protect those with pre-existing conditions. "Less healthy people would face extremely high premiums," the report stated.
The "Independent Journal Review" reported Wednesday that Meadows said "That's not what I wrote." When a reporter handed him the paragraph of the CBO report concerning pre-existing condition waivers, Meadows "seemed surprised" and "choked back tears" as he recounted family members who died from the equivalent of pre-existing conditions.
"Listen, I lost my sister to breast cancer. I lost my dad to lung cancer," said Meadows. "If anybody is sensitive to preexisting conditions, it’s me. I’m not going to make a political decision today that affects somebody’s sister or father because I wouldn't do it to myself."
Meadows went on to say that if the bill didn't protect those with pre-existing conditions, he would consider Congress to have "failed."