Rep. Jack Kingston, who has voted several times to defund Obamacare, says it would be irresponsible to let the president's signature healthcare law fail.
Speaking to local conservative radio station Z Politics
on Monday, the Georgia Republican mentioned a bill he had introduced that would exempt some small businesses from the mandate to provide insurance to their employees under Obamacare, The Hill reported.
"And there's some criticism, 'Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?'" Kingston told the radio show about GOP push-back to his bill.
"A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let's just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don't think that's always the responsible thing to do," he said.
"I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in Obamacare, we need to know about it," Kingston said.
"If you get a lot of letters that say, 'Hey, back off, it works. I have a special-needs child and here's why its been good for me,' we want to listen to that," he said.
A Kingston spokesman, Chris Crawford, said in an email to The Hill
that Kingston was advocating a replacement for the law in his interview.
"He essentially said that we don't just need to wait for Obamacare to die under its own weight, we need to be looking for solutions that would replace it," he said.
Kingston has repeatedly voted to repeal Obamacare, and supported the government shutdown strategy that was pushed by conservatives to defund the law.
His comments, nonetheless, were in sharp contrast to GOP strategy
to let the law fail in order to build momentum behind the party's efforts to repeal it.
Kingston faces stiff opposition from seven other Republicans who want to win the seat held by Sen. Saxby Chambliss,
who has announced he's retiring.
One of the seven, Rep. Paul Broun, took immediate exception to Kingston's comments, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
"Just yesterday, Congressman Jack Kingston wondered aloud on a radio program if allowing Obamacare to fail is the 'responsible' thing to do," Broun said Tuesday, adding that he is certain that "allowing Obamacare to continue is absolutely irresponsible" and that he's working "to fully repeal it."
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