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In this March 8, 2017, photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Republicans are working on a companion to their bill replacing “Obamacare,” a legislative second act that would ease cross-state sale of health insurance and limit jury awards for pain and suffering in malpractice lawsuits. The problem: the so-called “sidecar” bill lacks the votes in the Senate. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The revived GOP healthcare bill could be bad news for people with pre-existing conditions


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WATCH | The GOP's bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is back from the dead, but if you have a pre-existing condition you should pay close attention because the zombie bill could spell trouble. 

Most Americans want to keep coverage for pre-existing conditions

Multiple polls show that a majority of Americans want to keep the Affordable Care Act's mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found 70 percent of Americans support a mandate on coverage for pre-existing conditions and other basic insurance benefits. 

But that's been a deal breaker for the far right 

But Republicans need to get the far right wing of their party on board to get a healthcare bill passed. 

This week, the GOP added the "MacArthur Amendment" to the American Health Care Act to do just that. 

The amendment was brokered by conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and moderate Tuesday Group co-chair Tom MacArthur. 

The MacArthur Amendment 

The amendment gives states the ability to opt out of certain health insurance requirements, including fair coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. 

This means insurers in states that opt out could charge people with cancer, or another condition significantly more than other people. 

Insurers could also set their own essential health benefits, meaning they could drop some components of insurance packages that are currently required. 

Pressure is on the moderates 

The amended bill, which the Freedom Caucus officially endorsed Wednesday, is driving away more moderate Republicans. 

Some Republicans who supported the original bill are backing away from the new version. 

"It seems like a fairly complicated proposal and it's going to take a little while to review it... and make sure people are protected in terms of pre-existing conditions and I'm not there yet," Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman told reporters this week. 

Time to whip the votes 

Republicans can only afford to lose 22 votes and still pass the bill, since no Democrats are expected to support the legislation. 

At 10 Republicans have said they are voting "no" on the new bill, but many more are waffling. 

GOP leaders haven't ruled out the possibility of holding a vote on Friday, but House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday they will wait until they are sure it can pass. 

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