Loudermilk gets on board with GOP health bill after Trump meeting

WASHINGTON — One of Georgia’s two Republican holdouts on the party’s Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill now says he’s a ‘yes’ after huddling with President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, was one of about a dozen members of the conservative Republican Study Committee to huddle with Trump at the White House this morning to discuss the GOP’s American Health Care Act.

Loudermilk said a deal to tweak the bill that the group cut with the president and House GOP leaders was enough to earn his endorsement.

“I think we’re on an upward path,” Loudermilk said in an interview on Friday afternoon. “There still will probably be a few changes along the way, but I think those changes are just going to improve the bill for conservatives like me.”

The agreement the group cut, which came together within the last 24 hours, would:

  • Give states the option to block grant Medicaid
  • Institute work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients
  • Block the tax credits the bill grants people to help purchase health coverage from being used to pay for abortions

Loudermilk said the deal would aid Georgia. The second-term Republican had previously expressed concerns that the initial bill was unfair to states that did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

“Being a non-expansion state, we can take a per-capita block grant and basically customize Medicaid to the needs of the state,” he said Friday. “It gives us full flexibility, and that’s really what the governors have been looking for.”

For the time being, the only other Georgia Republican holdout on the health care bill that we know of is U.S. Rep. Jody Hice. He previously expressed concerns that were similar to Loudermilk’s.

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