Republicans hold an eight-vote advantage over Democrats on the Budget Committee, and if four GOP members oppose it, the bill could stall. Three of the 22 Republicans on the panel are members of the House Freedom Caucus.Aides to those three [Freedom Caucus] members — Reps. Dave Brat (Va.), Gary Palmer (Ala.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.) — did not respond to inquiries Tuesday about whether they intended to support the legislation in committee. Three other Budget Committee Republicans, Reps. John Faso (N.Y.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) and Bruce Westerman (Ark.), said Tuesday that they were undecided on their committee votes.
The bill assumes that Obamacare’s core feature—the federalization of health insurance—cannot be undone through reconciliation. So it does what it does within the boundaries of Obamacare’s imposition of specific guaranteed-issue and community-rating rules on the insurance system. But some of Obamacare’s insurance regulations, like the premium age bands (that determine how much higher the premiums of older people may be than those of younger people) are altered in the House proposal. And the proposal also introduces some elements, like a 30 percent surcharge on premiums for people who haven’t been continuously insured, which seem (to me) very unlikely to survive a Byrd Rule challenge.