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Mark Meadows: Two options on table for Obamacare repeal

041117 Meadows Obamacare deal rk pic
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said the group has two options on the table for a deal to repeal Obamacare, saying that a deal is "very close." (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The leader of the House Freedom Caucus said the group has two options on the table for a deal to repeal Obamacare, saying that a deal is "very close."

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told a North Carolina radio station Monday that he is awaiting word from House Speaker Paul Ryan on which direction the House wants to go on Obamacare repeal.

"We're very close," Meadows said. "The biggest thing for all of us is we want to make sure we don't just have repeal, but we have a replacement that drives down insurance premiums."

The House adjourned last week after failing to reach a deal to give states the power to opt out of certain Obamacare insurance mandates. The bill to partially repeal and replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, was pulled last month due to insufficient support.

Meadows said that if a deal comes together then the House could vote soon, possibly even returning to Washington early. The House has recessed until April 25.

The biggest sticking point remaining for a deal is which insurance mandates states can choose to opt out.

The Freedom Caucus wants the mandates for insurers to cover people with preexisting conditions, a price control called community rating and a requirement for plans to cover 10 essential health benefits such as maternity care.

But centrist lawmakers are worried about repealing the mandates, especially for people with preexisting conditions.

A last-minute change was made to the AHCA last week before lawmakers left. An amendment gave $15 billion to set up high-risk pools that would ensure people with preexisting conditions would be covered.

However, there are concerns about whether there will be enough long-term funding for the pools.