Tags: Donald Trump | Healthcare Reform | Medicare | Jim Jordan | AHCA | Congress | repeal and replace

Rep. Jim Jordan: AHCA Will Not Pass Without Major Changes

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:22 AM

The American Health Care Act does not repeal Obamacare, and unless it undergoes major changes, it will not be passed, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argued Wednesday.

"They rolled this bill out three weeks ago and didn't allow any witnesses to testify in the hearing," Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"No amendments were allowed to be offered except the manager's amendment, which is a leadership amendment and only makes technical changes."

That amendment, he continued, called the AHCA a "binary choice," which is "not the way the process is supposed to work."

The Freedom Caucus has threatened to formally oppose the AHCA during Thursday's vote unless changes are made by Wednesday night, a source has told CNBC.

The conservative caucus already has 25 "hard" votes against the proposal, with two others who are leaning against the measure. Jordan has been outspoken against the legislation, which he says does not repeal Obamacare outright, and Wednesday, he said unless there are changes, he does not "see the votes there to pass this legislation."

Jordan pointed out 15 months ago, House Republicans had a repeal bill passed, and had put it on then-President Barack Obama's desk, and he vetoed it.

That bill united Republicans, Jordan said, but the AHCA does not.

"Every major conservative group is opposed to it," Jordan said. "Why not go back to the bill we all passed before and we put on President Obama's desk? Put the same thing on President [Donald] Trump's desk, and we know he will sign it. Why not repeal it and a separate piece of legislation to replace it?"

Trump, though, has been pushing for the AHCA and predicted Tuesday, after meeting with House Republicans, there would be a "winner vote" Thursday.

Jordan said as of Wednesday, there are not enough votes in the House to pass the bill, and unless there is "real change, fundamental change," he does not see how the 216 votes needed to pass will happen.

During Trump's meeting with Republicans, he warned them they could lose their seats if they did not vote for the AHCA, Politico reported, but Jordan said he believes lawmakers should do what they promised and repeal Obamacare.

"The only thing worse than doing nothing is Congress doing the wrong thing," said Jordan. "We think this is the wrong piece of legislation. Does it repeal Obamacare? No. Everyone said it's Obamacare light."

Also, the bill does not unite Republicans, or "most importantly," it does not reduce insurance premiums, said Jordan.

"Even the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) said premiums are going to go up under this plan," said Jordan. "I've said so many times it's not consistent with what I told the people in the fourth district of Ohio, or what [Freedom Caucus Chairman] Mark Meadows told his voters in North Carolina, what we told as a Republican party to the American people. That is what we are focused on."

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, has criticized the bill because it eventually would roll back Medicaid, causing some 50,000 people in Ohio to lose coverage. Jordan, though, said there are people who view success as signing recipients up for government-funded healthcare.

Jordan said he disagrees with Kasich, and said the Freedom Caucus wants to bring back affordable insurance.

And even under the repeal plan passed 15 months ago, it had a two-year wind down period.

"We understand you need time for this market to develop," Jordan said. "Even our plan said there has to be a transition period and that is common sense. We understand that, but over time we believe if you get rid of the mandates and regulations that drove up the cost of insurance, if you do that you bring back affordable insurance for the working class and middle class families of this country."

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The American Health Care Act does not repeal Obamacare, and unless it undergoes major changes, it will not be passed, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argued Wednesday.
Jim Jordan, AHCA, Congress, repeal and replace
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:22 AM
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