Health Insurance

GOP health-care bill will get better over next two weeks, Rep. Harris says

Rep. Harris on GOP health care bill: Gets better over the next two weeks

The Republicans' plan to replace Obamacare is facing opposition from within its own party, but that plan is still a work in progress, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Maryland, told CNBC on Tuesday.

"We're going to see some changes," he said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"We still have a couple of weeks to go until we see the final version. I think it's going to get a little closer to the conservatives' ideas."

Backlash to the bill has come from both the party's moderate and conservative wings, with conservatives complaining it doesn't do enough to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

"The first thing Republicans are bringing forward is a piece of legislation … that says we repeal it but keeps Medicaid expansion, and actually expands it, that keeps some of the tax increases. That is not what we promised the American people we were going to do," former House Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters.

Other lawmakers took to Twitter to express their displeasure.

Sen. Rand Paul

Mike Lee

However, Harris, who is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said conservatives should be happy that the bill transfers a lot of Medicaid to the states.

"It eliminates the mandates. It gets the Federal government out of all these Obamacare decisions and sends them to the states. It creates high risk pools, protects people with pre-existing conditions. There's a lot of good things here. I think it gets better over the next two weeks," he said.

Meanwhile, that shift in Medicaid isn't good news for the states, health-care policy expert Spencer Perlman told "Closing Bell."

"When states have shortfalls in Medicaid funding, they have to raise taxes, they have to collect more in provider taxes, they have to charge more on managed care, they have to cut enrollment, they have to cut benefits," said Perlman, the director of health-care research for Veda.

"They are definitely left holding the short end of the stick."