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Conservative Republican: Medicaid changes can win votes for health care bill

Washington (CNN)North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, chair of a group of the Republican Study Committee, said Thursday that he and other conservatives are focused on getting two specific changes to the Obamacare repeal and replace bill — freezing Medicaid enrollment at the end of 2017 and adding work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.

If those changes are made, they’d likely back the bill, he said.
“We are a ‘yes’ if we get both of them. We’re ‘lean yes’ of we get one of them,” Walker told reporters. But when asked if they get none, Walker dodged and said they would still be focused on the process ahead.
After an effort to push for the Medicaid change didn’t pan out at the markup earlier Thursday, Walker said there are “still a couple of avenues to get that done” but added, “same thing with the work requirements on the 9 million or so who are on Medicaid who are capable-bodied, no dependents. So we are still working on those two things.”
    He said when he raised the issues with Vice President Mike Pence in a recent meeting, “I did get a compassionate ear.”
    Walker said these issues were discussed with Speaker Paul Ryan today in the regular weekly meeting with leaders of various groups within the House GOP conference. He signaled that his members were pleased that some of their concerns were being addressed.
    “It’s been cleaned up a great deal, to the place where we are continuing to try to churn out huge support from the RSC,” he said.
    But Walker acknowledged that changing the bill to please conservatives would impact the balance of getting the rest of the conference on board.
    “It’s a second law of thermodynamics: every time there is a move toward a conservative position, some of the more moderate members, there’s an equal reaction on that particular side. Trying to find that — it’s a difficult position for Speaker Ryan.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/09/politics/mark-walker-medicaid/index.html