Tags: obamacare | repeal | healthcare

Obamacare Repeal Talk Heats Up

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Friday, 14 Jul 2017 10:19 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Capitol Hill was dominated Thursday by reports of a new compromise on healthcare legislation worked out by Republican lawmakers behind closed doors.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others in the Senate GOP hierarchy made clear their belief that the latest compromises would bring enough of their Republican colleagues over to pass the American Health Care Act and thus replace the Affordable Care Act.

On the House side, however, the mood Thursday was much different. Among conservative Republicans, sentiment was increasing for an up-and-down vote on outright repeal of Obamacare.

According to supporters of “repeal and delay," work on a new replacement would follow repeal of Obamacare and a vote on the new healthcare legislation would occur within a few months.

“I don’t know whether there are the votes straight repeal,” said freshman Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., “but everyone here ran on repeal last year and put up repeal [to] a president who wouldn’t sign it.”

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., agreed, reminding Newsmax that “everyone else who is here got re-elected after voting for it [repeal].

Massie, Biggs, and other conservative lawmakers spoke to Newsmax at “Conversations with Conservatives,” the monthly forum for right-of-center House Republicans.

“It is important to remind our base that we did try to put in a bill that was a full repeal bill,” Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., told me. “[Kentucky Sen.] Rand Paul, [South Carolina Rep.] Mark Sanford and I had the repeal bill. Leadership would not allow that on the House floor. So for reporting sake it is important to note that.”

By “leadership,” Brat explained that he meant Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Brat added that, “We introduced [repeal legislation] in February, with the exact same language that we passed a year and a half ago and sent to then-President Obama’s desk [Obama vetoed it].”

Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kansas, who won a nationally-watched special election earlier this year, was attending his first sessions of “Conversations With Conservatives.” Estes told us he felt outright repeal would open the door for many of the estimated 5.7 million Americans who lost healthcare plans under Obamacare could now get them back.

“And as for the warnings people will lose healthcare if Obamacare is repealed, I’d say they are already losing healthcare under Obamacare,” he said. “In Kansas, roughly a third of the population will not have access to any healthcare through the exchanges next year. The same thing is happening in Iowa and Ohio and Tennessee.”

Also joining the “Conversations” for the first time, freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., emphasized that “Sometimes when we get to talking about what we have the votes for, we seem to fall victim to our own mythology . . . I’ve had folks tell me, in leadership, out of leadership . . . that if we put the measure on the floor that [lawmakers] in the 114th Congress voted for dozens of times on the House floor now, we wouldn’t have the votes.”

Gaetz emphasized that “there is no evidence to support that claim. History would tell us that ‘I was for it before I was against it’ isn’t a winning political strategy. So I think we should call the bluff of those who say ‘well, when it wasn’t real, I was going to vote to repeal Obamacare, but now that we can actually get it done, I find myself wringing my hands and hiding.’”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Capitol Hill was dominated Thursday by reports of a new compromise on healthcare legislation worked out by Republican lawmakers behind closed doors.
obamacare, repeal, healthcare
587
2017-19-14
Friday, 14 Jul 2017 10:19 AM
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