Pass my weak Obamacare reform bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan says, or the entire healthcare system is going to collapse.
Republican conservatives have panned the House bill to rethink Obamacare as a failure to follow through on promises to actually repeal the previous administration’s healthcare plan and replace it from the ground up.
As Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan put it over the weekend: “The speaker’s plan doesn’t repeal Obamacare. Even Charles Krauthammer said that, called it ObamaCare Lite, as you said earlier. It doesn’t bring down premiums and it doesn’t unite Republicans. So, why not do what we all voted for just 15 months ago, clean repeal, and then get focused and build some momentum to actually replace ObamaCare with something that’s going to bring down costs?”
Jordan and other conservatives are urging their congressional colleagues to vote on legislation that would fully repeal Obamacare, versions of which already exist in both chambers.
Worse than a broken promise to repeal Obamacare, those conservatives contend, is that the current plan endorsed by Ryan and the Trump administration could more deeply entrench some of the current healthcare laws biggest problems.
As Sen. Tom Cotton said last week: “What we need to deliver on is the promise that we would make health care more affordable for Americans. We would make it accessible. And we would cut down on the stress and the anxiety that health care causes for Americans. Unfortunately the House legislation is not going to achieve those results and the break neck speed at which it’s moving is designed to actually make those results probably worse. That’s why I think we just need to take a pause and to deliberate more carefully and more openly and get to a result that is actually going to make health care more affordable and more hassle free for Americans.”
Still, Ryan’s GOP establishment hasn’t backed down. Last week, the party leadership began an assault on legislative detractors of its plan by running television ads suggesting that lawmakers calling for a more conservative approach to retooling Obamacare are working against Trump’s agenda.
Now, Ryan has taken it a step further, saying that lawmakers threatening passage of his preferred legislation will be responsible for a collapse of the U.S. healthcare system.
“This has been a long and deliberative process,” he said on Face the Nation. “Suggesting that this is moving fast, going through four committees, going through regular order, saying we are going to do this for seven years, and now come to the point where we are actually on the cusp of keeping our word, I hardly think that that is rushing things.”
“The point I would say is, this is historic, this is historic, and it’s significant,” Ryan added. “And if we don’t act, the system is going to collapse.”
Maybe that’s a good thing.
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