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Pence meets with House Republicans to enlist support for healthcare bill

A meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and other top administration officials with a group of House Republicans ended without a consensus on a new bid to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30 to 40 conservative House Republicans that derailed the previous version of the bill, said the discussion was dominated by a measure to give flexibility to states to opt out of some of the ACA requirements, adding that his group was encouraged by some of the options presented by Pence, according to the report.

States could get exemptions from requirements to offer specific health benefits such as maternity care or hospitalization and from a provision that prohibits insurers from charging higher rates to those with existing health conditions.

The lawmakers agree on setting up high-risk pools to help states cover some of the people who will see an increase in costs if some of the ACA's requirements are relaxed, but the law's requirement that all individual and group plans must accept an applicant regardless of health status continues to be a topic of contention, according to the report.