Paul Ryan’s latest version of the AHCA is Obamacare warmed over, according to Kentucky Congressman.
Today the Republican leadership in the House passed the long debated American Health Care Act. The vote, almost exclusively along party lines, was 217-213, with 20 Republicans voting against the measure that had White House backing.
But what’s really in the bill? What changes would it make to Obamacare? Is this a full repeal or some warmed over substitute?
We simply do not know. All three of Mississippi’s Republican Representatives voted in favor of it with little or no explanation. In fact, the text of the bill was only unveiled a few hours before it was voted on.
One staunch conservative in the House, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, one of the 20 who did not support the Ryan plan, explained his vote, and the inner workings of the bill, in a message on his official congressional page:
As recently as a year ago, Republicans argued that mandates were unconstitutional, bailouts were immoral, and subsidies would bankrupt our country. Today, however, the House voted for a healthcare bill that makes these objectionable measures permanent.
The former Democrat Speaker of the House was rightfully derided for imploring Members to vote for a healthcare bill to “find out what was in it.” Yet today, we voted on a healthcare bill for which the text was available only a few hours before the vote. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office had no time to even provide Congress with a preliminary estimate of the full cost of this bill.
By repealing a small number of Obamacare mandates, while leaving others in place, this bill runs the risk of destroying what remains of the individual health insurance market. The option in this bill that allows States to apply for waivers from some Obamacare mandates is well-intentioned. However, it falls far short of our promise to repeal Obamacare. There also remains the risk that State legislatures, like our federal legislature, are unable to withstand the political pressure from lobbyists who defend Obamacare, and the pressure from those who receive Obamacare’s welfare handouts.
This bill should have included measures that allow Americans to take charge of their own healthcare and get the government out of the way. These measures include allowing the deduction of health insurance costs from income taxes, giving everyone the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, and allowing individuals to band together through any organization to purchase insurance.
In weighing my vote, I heeded the wise advice that “one should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” If this bill becomes law, it could result in worse outcomes, fewer options, and higher prices for Kentuckians who seek health care. In summary, I voted against this bill not because it’s imperfect, but because it’s not good.
The bill now moves to the US Senate, where its fate is uncertain.