The American Health Care Act marks a "direct assault on working class people" and shows Republicans "lack the basic understanding of what insurance is," Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan said Friday.
Ryan went further, blasting President Donald Trump for betraying his own campaign promises to protect healthcare.
"It's a basic betrayal of what Donald Trump told people in Ohio when he was campaigning," Ryan told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I listened very carefully to what he said. He was going to expand Medicaid, Medicare, everybody would have access to healthcare. So this blue collar billionaire has completely flopped on the working class people that put him in office."
Ryan said in his district alone, 270,000 people have pre-existing conditions and will see higher insurance rates should the AHCA eventually become law.
"If you're a senior, we had a cap through the Affordable Care Act, they could only charge a senior three times as much as you can charge a younger healthier person in the plan," Ryan continued. "The Republicans moved that cap so now you can charge a senior in Youngstown, Ohio, five times what you could charge somebody young and healthy. So this is a direct assault on working class people."
The AHCA, he continued, "tells them if you have a pre-existing condition, you're the back of the line. If you're older, get in the back the line. There will be a lot of healthier people ahead of you in the line."
Ryan also criticized the bill's plan to include $8 billion over five years for high-risk po0ls for people with pre-existing conditions, saying that's not nearly enough money for a country of more than 313 million people.
"It's amazing to me that Republicans lack the basic understanding of what insurance is," said Ryan. "That means everybody has to be in the tent. You have to have healthy people in order to take care of the sick people."
Ryan said the House Republicans' celebration at the White House after the vote also dismayed him.
"Are we really talking about and celebrating in the White House, the highest executive position in the world, that we're celebrating kicking 24 million people off of their healthcare?" said Ryan. "I thought we were in the business of trying to get people health care, make it more affordable, and here we have a celebration for kicking 24 million people off."
Ryan also discussed his party and its need to change its brand moving forward.
"I think that starts on an agenda of getting people back to work, and jobs that can't be outsourced," said Ryan. That could include creating a new high tech grid, which would allow people to save money, give every community access to high tech systems, and create "thousands and thousands of jobs."
However, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign did not talk enough about such things, Ryan continued, but instead ran "a lot of commercials" about Trump.
"We didn't have enough commercials running about how you're going to help out working class people, that these working class people, the system is rigged against them," said Ryan. "It is geared towards the top one percent. It is geared toward the insurance companies...you're throwing people off of health care and giving a tax cut to the wealthiest in the country and sick kids will not get healthcare."
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