- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, on Tuesday said he is “convinced” that Republicans will tee up another effort to overhaul health care once Congress returns from its two-week recess — and that the GOP now faces blame on the issue no matter what happens.

“Even if the Republicans don’t touch the health care bill, they’re going to get blamed from now on,” Mr. DeMint said on Fox Business Network.

“Because prices will continue to go up, and that’s what we and the Freedom Caucus and others have been focused on — it’s the federal regulations that are driving up the prices,” Mr. DeMint said.

“And if the first bill that the House introduced went through, it doesn’t do anything to those regulations, and next year at this time … premiums [will] probably be up another 20 percent,” he said.

“So I’m convinced when the Republicans get back from break, they’ll tee up another health care bill with some modifications that the folks can support and send it over to the Senate,” Mr. DeMint said.

“Right now, I’m still pretty optimistic that you’re going to see at least some improvements in the health care situation,” he said.

Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of Mr. DeMint’s group, was one of several high-profile conservative groups that vocally opposed the American Health Care Act, which the House GOP rolled out last month.

But the legislation repealing parts of Obamacare was pulled before a floor vote after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and President Trump failed to round up enough Republicans to support it.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said the legislation didn’t do enough to drive down costs, while more moderate members expressed concerns about how the legislation dealt with Medicaid funding.

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