Freedom Caucus leader working on new health care plan

Story highlights

  • Meadows meant to have a plan delivered to Ryan by Tuesday
  • The move is the latest in a string of efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare

(CNN)Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is working on a plan that could win support among the ranks of the moderate Republican Tuesday Group in the House and planned to present it to House Speaker Paul Ryan for review Tuesday.

"Meadows has continued in discussion with the speaker and White House in last few days to move this forward," said a source with the House Freedom Caucus familiar with the negotiations. "What he's presented back to the speaker is essentially the (Vice President Mike) Pence plan of allowing state waivers to opt out of some Title I regulations, but keeping a provision in place to require preexisting conditions be covered. That's the slight tweak, that he hopes can get moderates to a 'yes.'"
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer promised Tuesday that negotiators are still working behind the scenes to bring together the centrist and far-right wings of the House Republicans to approve a health care bill.
"I think we are getting closer and closer every day," Spicer said at a White House briefing. "This has been a process that you know, the chief of staff, the vice president, and others have been extremely engaged in behind the scenes. We clearly are getting closer, more votes are moving in our direction and these ideas are very helpful as we are getting closer. We feel very buoyed by the direction this is going."
Spicer's comments follow a week of rushed meetings at the Capitol and the White House last week that may not have met optimistic plans of a vote by the end of the week, but laid the groundwork for the ongoing negotiations.
Meadows first told USA Today that he hoped to have a plan delivered to Ryan by Tuesday.
"What I'm getting to him is based on conversations that I've had with (Tuesday Group co-chairman) Rep. Tom MacArthur and leadership, but I wouldn't say that it's approved at this point," Meadows told the publication. "What we're trying to do is work through issues that are important to all of us but make sure that pre-existing conditions are taken care of."
White House efforts to appease staunch conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have been broadly credited with sinking the first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare last month. But a growing realization that Republicans may not get another chance at fulfilling a promise they've been making for seven years has spurred renewed talks, led by Pence this time around.
Republicans face a tough timeline in the Capitol if they want to approve anything -- with almost all debate likely to be dominated by the effort to stave off a government shutdown when they return form their two-week break at the end of April.