The leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus warned Thursday that the Senate's new healthcare reform proposal may die in the House.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said conservatives wanted the Senate bill to include an amendment by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah that would have allowed insurance companies to sell plans that did not adhere to Obamacare mandates.
The new Senate proposal leaves out the Cruz-Lee proposal and included language that would keep all of the plans in the same risk pool, which could impact premium prices.
"I can tell you, if the [Cruz-Lee provision ] is not in there, there is not enough conservative votes in the House to make it work," Meadows told reporters at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Action.
Meadows said he will "withhold judgement" until he sees the new language, but said ultimately the backing of conservatives will hinge on whether the Senate plan lowers premiums.
"The bottom line is, we have got to bring premiums down," Meadows said. "If there is not something that would do what the Cruz-Lee amendment would do, it would be problematic."
The House passed a bill in May that included a provision allowing states to apply for waivers to the Obamacare mandate, which would lower premiums by allowing people to purchase different levels of coverage.
Moderates in the Senate fear the Cruz-Lee proposal and the House plan would mean much higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.