Tags: Healthcare Reform | GOP | Healthcare

GOP Lawmakers Reflect Moderate-Conservative Split on Healthcare Bill

By    |   Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 10:52 AM

House Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan said Thursday he's ready to vote for the newest version of a bill to replace Obamacare, but Tuesday Group co-chair Charlie Dent said he's not ready to sign off on the measure yet.

Further, the pair disagree whether the MacArthur Amendment has enough votes to pass.

"The underlying bill and now the amendment fail to address the concerns I've been raising," Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "There is not a soft enough landing for states like mine that expanded Medicaid."

In addition, said Dent, there is "insufficient support, in my view for too many low and moderate income Americans. They won't be able to afford insurance ... I would argue that the amendment that's being proposed actually takes us in the wrong direction and further weakens protection for people with pre-existing conditions."

But Jordan, an Ohio Republican, commented that he now supports the bill, after several weeks of opposing it, because it gives states the ability to opt out of regulations that drive up premiums.

"This is not full repeal, but I am convinced we have made a bill better because of our engagement, because we held out on this bill," Jordan told "Morning Joe."

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"I'm also convinced that if states get this waiver, premiums will come down for those families who happen to be in those states," said Jordan. "I think this is the best we're going to get right now in the House but we've got more work to do. ... The motivation is to bring down premiums. If this amendment goes in and states do the option, I think premiums will come down for families across the country that happen to be in those respective states."

Dent, however, said that in his state alone, 700,000 people would be impacted if Medicaid is rolled back.

"I understand that we have to make changes to Medicaid, don't misunderstand me, but the problem is people on Medicaid, who are going to be taken off, say, by 2020, are going to have a problem because they're going to be forced into the exchanges," said Dent. "The maximum tax credit right now is about $4,000, so many of them will not be able to afford health insurance. Therefore, they will go naked or bare and be uninsured."

Further, he said that when states are allowed to opt out of some protections, there will be services lost, including for people with mental or behavioral health issues and especially for people with pre-existing conditions.

"As Republicans, we have stated very clearly that we want to make sure that any American who has a pre-existing condition or illness will have access to affordable insurance and they will be covered," said Dent.

He said he does believe a healthcare reform bill needs to be passed, but that won't happen on a partisan basis.

"The Democrats made a huge mistake in 2010." said Dent. "I was here when they jammed this thing through, muscled it through on a partisan basis. We've been fighting about this law ever since. I think Republicans, we shouldn't make that same mistake."

Dent said he suspects a vote will happen when there are enough votes to pass the bill, but at this time, the "votes still aren't there. This measure, or this amendment, really hasn't brought a lot of people from the center right on board. It's probably peeled a few people off."

Jordan, meanwhile, said his group has always been focused on bringing down premiums, and the new bill now has "work requirements for those able-bodied individuals in the Medicaid expansion population."

The initial American Health Care Act also kept Obamacare tax increases for a period of time, said Jordan, but the revised bill ends the tax increases.

"In the end we said, 'Look, [with] just the makeup of Congress right now, we're not going to get the full repeal we told the voters. So we've got more work to do but we believe this is the best plan we can get out of the house right now,'" said Jordan. "We'll send it to the senate and some of our conservative colleagues will have more work to do to actually accomplish what the voters sent us here to do."

Unlike Dent, Jordan said he believes the bill is "real close" to having enough votes to pass.

"You'd have to ask the whip team and the leadership but I think we're real close," he said. "When that happens is when we have the votes, so we will see. I think we're close to getting an agreement and we can get it to the Senate."

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House Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan said Thursday he's ready to vote for the newest version of a bill to replace Obamacare, but Tuesday Group co-chair Charlie Dent said he's not ready to sign off on the measure yet. Further, the pair disagree whether the...
GOP, Healthcare
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2017-52-27
Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 10:52 AM
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