The American Health Care Act is getting opposition from conservatives who deride it as being too much like Obamacare, but most House Republicans recognize that it guts Obamacare and "starts the whole process of completely repealing and replacing" it, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Friday.
"Very few members are talking like that," the Louisiana Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "Most of our members recognize this bill guts Obamacare and starts it whole process of completely repealing and replacing Obamacare. Keep in mind, this gets rid of the mandate penalties.
"It starts to open a free market where consumers can buy their own health care insurance. That's at the heart of failures of Obamacare."
The bill is still a few weeks from heading to the House floor, said Scalise, as it will head to the Budget Committee next week.
"We will continue to talk to members about things they would like to see that we are working with the White House on," said Scalise. "At the same time, [we have] a strong vote out of the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, which have all the factions of our conference. The Democrats voted against it."
The new bill, he continued, has things like "Medicaid reform, which we haven't seen in over 50 years," said Scalise. "It's really going to help improve the most broken form of healthcare."
Scalise also commented that President Barack Obama made several "broken promises" when it came to his signature healthcare legislation, including that people would not be able to purchase the insurance they wanted.
He also disagreed with MSNBC's senior political analyst Mark Halperin, a member of the show's panel, who accused Scalise and other Republicans of being like Obama and knowing "full well that some people will benefit from the House plan, if it passed into law, and some people won't."
"Wouldn't it be a good idea to tell the American people, certain people, older people, people in rural places, some of your constituents will be worst off under your plan?" asked Halperin. "True, right?"
"No, the losers are those who think government bureaucrats have to tell you what you can and can't buy," said Scalise. "Our bill is about freedom to choose what you want. Their bill was about government bureaucrats telling you what you can and can't buy."
Further, he said that if someone has an Obamacare plan and likes it, it will still be gone after the transition occurs,"but there will be better options for them. And there's going to be lower costs they will be able to pay for your family."
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