Tags: Trump Administration | Healthcare Reform | Tom DeLay | repeal | Obamacare | GOP

Tom DeLay: 'Repeal Obamacare — Don't Replace It' Would Work

Image: Tom DeLay: 'Repeal Obamacare — Don't Replace It' Would Work
Tom DeLay (AP)

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Monday, 27 Mar 2017 06:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald Trump and House Republicans would have succeeded Friday in the effort to repeal Obamacare had they simply voted to repeal the controversial health care measure than replace it with what he called "Obamacare Lite."

That was the opinion of one of the savviest and most experienced vote-counters in the modern House of Representatives, former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.).

DeLay now feels Republicans should enact legislation that "builds a free market foundation for health insurance and repeals Obamacare when it implodes."

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax on the day after Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act as it faced sure defeat on the House floor, DeLay said the Republican replacement for Obamacare was doomed because conservatives in House Freedom Caucus "were not going to go for a better welfare program."

"I was so proud of them," he told us, "The reports I read said there were more than 30 Republicans in the House who had indicated they were against [the 'repeal and replace' bill] and that was more than the 21 the leadership could afford to lose and still pass it [216 being the majority]. These were the principled Republicans."

The former Texas lawmaker says that the Trump Administration's "strategy was all wrong. Instead of trying to fix Obamacare, there should have been two separate bills — one to repeal it and one to give people greater opportunity to obtain health care."

The latter bill, DeLay explained, would have simply taken the Earned Income Tax Credit (the refundable tax credit for lower and moderate-income families) and required that its cash be deposited in a Health Savings Account. The HSA would then permit the families their own choices in determining forms of health care, he said.

"All those figures you read about twenty-some million Americans not getting health care were not true," DeLay told us, "They may not have been getting health insurance but they certainly are getting health care — through non-profits, Medicaid, and charity hospitals."

Speaking from his home in Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston, DeLay told us how "I can see many charity hospitals in Houston, but Obamacare has now made it hard for them to do the work they were doing. Obamacare was something we did not need. It was designed to lead to a single-payer healthcare program."

As to how repeal would make it through the Senate where 60 votes would be required to thwart a filibuster, DeLay recalled how in 2015, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) deployed the rules and secured repeal with a simple majority along party lines. The repeal was eventually vetoed by President Obama.

"Why don’t they [the Senate] turn back to those rules and that strategy?" said DeLay.

Of the recent failure of the American Health Care Act, the former Majority Leader said "I'm so excited we now have another opportunity and this time we can get it. Obamacare will soon implode — although the president used the word 'explode' — and when it does, the House must then vote to repeal and send it to the Senate. And then it must pass individual bills to get American health care back to the free market."

DeLay, who served as House GOP Whip for four years before becoming majority leader in 1998, was nicknamed "The Hammer" for his ability to count and deliver the votes of his colleagues.

"The two factors that were key in whipping a bill to a vote are exhaustion and drama," he said, "But even with those factors, Ryan couldn’t pass this bill. He couldn’t pull the trigger."

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President Trump and House Republicans would have succeeded Friday in the effort to repeal Obamacare had they simply voted to repeal the controversial health care measure than replace it with what he called "Obamacare Lite."That was the opinion of one of the savviest and...
Tom DeLay, repeal, Obamacare, GOP
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2017-15-27
Monday, 27 Mar 2017 06:15 AM
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