There are still more than 60 Republicans with major concerns about the GOP’s health care bill – Reading Eagle
(c) 2017, The Washington Post.
To get their version of an Obamacare replacement through Congress and onto President Donald Trump’s desk, Republican leaders need only a simple majority in both chambers to approve it.
But that is proving to be difficult. The magic number to pass the legislation in the House is 218, and in the Senate, 50. Republicans, have a slim majority in both chambers, but assuming no Democrats support the bill, they can lose only 21 votes in the House and just two in the Senate.
At least three conservative lawmakers have said they now support the bill. But still, as of Sunday morning, the number of Republicans in Congress who have expressed serious concerns about the bill as it stands – or outright said they would vote against it – is enough to kill the bill in both chambers:
– 20 senators
– 45 House lawmakers
GOP concerns mounted after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report predicting that 24 million people would lose health insurance under the plan over the next decade, while premiums would begin to drop in 2020. Conservative groups, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth, are also pressuring lawmakers from the right to oppose the bill, derogatorily dubbing it “RyanCare.”
The Washington Post is keeping a list of Republicans who have opposed or expressed serious concerns about the legislation. Here they are, roughly in chronological order of when they expressed skepticism about the bill:
– Opposed/strongly leaning no (4 senators, 25 House lawmakers)
1. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)
2. Sen. Mike Lee (Utah): He reiterated his points in a March 13 op-ed in the Daily Signal.
3. Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.): “I can tell you a number, if not a majority, of Republican senators think that this process has been too breakneck, too slapdash, and they do not see a good solution for the American people coming out of the House bill as drafted,” he told The Washington Post.
“I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives with whom I serve, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote,” he told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview aired March 12.
4. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine): “This is not a bill I could support in its current form,” the moderate senator, who has expressed concerns about its defunding of Planned Parenthood and impacts on health-care costs for the elderly, told the Portland Press Herald.
5. Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio): The replacement plan would amount to “subsidies for unaffordable health care, subsidies for unaffordable premiums – not just policies that Republicans had opposed, but policies voters would reject,” the co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus told The Post’s David Weigel.
6. Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), in tweets: “Obamacare 2.0. New plan does not repeal/replace; it repackages Obamacare. It’s a political plan that signals retreat and will not reduce health care costs.”
7. Rep. Dave Brat (Va.): He voted against it in the House Budget Committee on March 16. “It’s going to be a federally run system, right? It’s going to create a new entitlement program,” he told NPR’s Rachel Martin.
8. Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.): “Right now, the speaker’s going to need a lot of Democrat votes to pass what would be the largest welfare program ever sponsored by the Republican Party,” as quoted by The Washington Post.
9. Rep. Ral R. Labrador (Idaho): “They sent me to Washington to get rid of Obamacare, and replace it with something that will, once and for all, create a health-care system that allows the market to deliver lower costs and focus on patients,” he told Idaho KTVB in a statement. “I have spent the last two days studying the American Health Care Act, and unfortunately, it is not that bill.”
10. Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.): The bill is a “stinking pile of garbage” written by “the insurance lobby,” he told the Washington Examiner’s editorial board.
11. Rep. Walter B. Jones (N.C.): “It’s all moving too fast in my opinion, and other members have said the same thing,” he told the Daily Reflector. “They need to slow this bill down and give members of Congress and the American people a chance to take a deep breath and analyze what has been done and what changes, repeals are taking place.”
12. Rep. Rob Wittman (Va.): “After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today, it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
13. Rep. Mark Amodei (Nev.): He told the Associated Press that if he had to vote March 13 on the bill, he would vote against it. He told the Reno Gazette Journal on March 13 that the GOP’s rollout of this bill was “not a great start,” adding that what he says is a lack of hearings on the legislation “is incredibly frustrating.”
14. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (Okla.): The House Freedom Caucus member told CNN on March 10 that he would not support the bill as it stands. There are “some very serious challenges,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure that we bring down premiums, bring down the cost of health care for all Americans, increase access, and in our estimation, this bill will not accomplish that objective.”
15. Rep. Leonard Lance (N.J.): Told CNN on March 14: “I do not want to vote on a bill that has no chance of passing over in the Senate.” Lance voted for the bill as it was making its way through the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee.
16. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.): “As written the plan leaves too many from my district uninsured,” she tweeted March 14, elaborating in a statement that too many will lose health insurance as a result, “and there will be less funds to help the poor and elderly with their health care.”
17. Rep. Ted Yoho (Fla.): “My reservations are many,” the House Freedom Caucus member told PBS’ Judy Woodruff on March 14. “I like the direction we’re moving in, but I could not support the bill as it is right now.”
18. Rep. Claudia Tenney (N.Y.): “We have to repeal Obamacare at some point,” Tenney told New York Upstate. “I’m for repeal, but right now I don’t think this bill solves the problem as it is.”
19. Rep. Warren Davidson (Ohio): “If we called the votes today, I would be a no, as would a lot of other people in the Congress today,” he told NPR’s Audie Cornish on March 16.
20. Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.): “I’m not prepared to vote for it w,” he told Fox News on March 13. The L.A. Times reports that Issa has introduced his own health-care bill to allow all Americans to purchase the plan available to federal workers.
21.Rep. Tom Garrett (Va.): “Right now, I am a firm no,” he told CNN on March 14.
22. Rep. Peter King (N.Y.): The Hill reports King told reporters on March 15 he’s leaning “slightly against it” because of the bill’s eventual imitations of Medicaid.
23. Rep. Louie Gohmert (Tex.): He told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that he has heard a lot of concerns from constituents about the bill: “Just one thing is not going to fix it.”
24. Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.): “From a conservative’s perspective, there are a number of things that need further refinement,” he told CNN on March 7. He voted against the bill in the House Budget Committee.
25. Rep. Rick Crawford (Ark.): “I can’t support the American Health Care Act,” he told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on March 8, expressing concerns that its tax credits would “essentially create a new entitlement program.”
26. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.): “I won’t say I’m a no, but I’m certainly leaning no,” he told the USA Today Network-Tennessee on March 14, citing concerns the CBO report didn’t show premium costs lowering anytime soon.
27. Rep. John Katko (N.Y.): He said March 17 in a statement he’ll vote against the bill: “Fundamentally, I don’t believe this proposal provides an adequate market-based option for insurance access, nor does it address out-of-control costs.”
28. Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said in a March 18 interview on C-SPAN “”I can assure you that this bill needs to be changed.” On Thursday, the caucus tweeted:
“The House Freedom Caucus still opposes the GOP replacement bill in its current form.”
29. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.): “Although the American Health Care Act focuses on several much-needed reforms to our healthcare system, in its current form I cannot support this legislation,” he wrote on Facebook on March 18, citing its potential trims to opioid abuse prevention and treatment.
– Expressed serious concerns about the bill (16 senators, 20 House lawmakers)
1. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.): Cruz told reporters March 7 that he has a “number of concerns,” including age-based tax credits to help people afford health care.
2, 3, 4, 5. Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska): “We will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states,” they wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
6. Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.): “Well, I haven’t had time to look at it in great depth yet, so we’ll see,” Blunt told KMBZ Radio as the plan was rolled out. “What I don’t like is it may not be a plan that gets a majority of votes and lets us move on. Because we can’t stay where we are with the plan we’ve got now.”
7. Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.): “Not everything in the Affordable Care Act is bad,” Heller told constituents March 11, according to audio obtained by Politico. He elaborated that he’s worried the Republicans’ bill could affect the state’s Medicaid population and that it wouldn’t fully repeal the “Cadillac tax,” a tax on expensive insurance plans.
8. Sen. John Thune (S.D.): “There are lots of ways you can fix and amend the bill,” Thune told reporters March 7, indicating that would have to be done to the current legislation making its way through the House.
9. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.): “Obviously, it’s not 100 percent of what I would want to see,” Rubio told WJNO Radio on March 8, without detailing exactly what he’s concerned about.
10. Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.): “President Trump said that he wants as many people covered as under Obamacare,” he told reporters after the CBO projection was released. “He said that health care should be affordable. If there’s 14 million people losing insurance, of course it’s concerning. I try to avoid hyperbole and adjectives, but it’s concerning.”
11. Sen. James Lankford (Okla.): “Most folks in the Senate, and I would say the vast majority, are saying if we don’t get some things right, this should not move,” he told local radio March 13.
12. Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.): “We need to do better,” he said in a statement after the CBO report came out. “I want to see costs and premiums go down to make health care more affordable for Montana families.”
13. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.): “At the end of the day, we should pause and try to improve the product in the light of the CBO analysis rather than just rejecting it,” he told reporters March 13.
14. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.): “I’m concerned more … use bill will do to Arizona, especially since they expanded Medicaid,” he told reporters March 13.
15. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee: “Naturally, I’m concerned,” he told reporters March 13 when asked about the estimate that 24 million fewer Americans could be insured over the next decade under the bill.
16. Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.): “I’m quite sure that we’re going to want to make some changes, which, I think, are still entirely possible. This is not the final product,” he told local CBS talk radio on March 9.
17. Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.): He told Crain’s Chicago Business on March 14 the bill is “very much a work in progress,” specifically citing his concern over potential cuts to Medicaid recipients in his state.
18. Rep. Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.): “I don’t take that argument. It’s not an either-or” situation, Gosar told the Hill. “You transplant a bad bill with a bad bill, it’s still a bad bill. And what happens when you make a promise to the American public and it doesn’t come true? So I don’t buy that.”
19. Rep. Steve King (Iowa): “On balance, if the American people had to decide between continuing with Obamacare the way it is … or going back to the way we were, I’d be for going back to the way we were, and then start the process of reform of the existing health-care system, and I think people are better off that way,” he told Chris Hayes of MSNBC on March 9.
20. Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.): The moderate Republican is concerned about the limits the bill would put on Medicaid expansion: “I am pleased that the bill fully repeals the jobs-destroying medical device tax, addresses overreaching government mandates and includes some elements of replacement,” he told Penn Live. “I remain concerned, however, about the impact of the Medicaid changes on vulnerable populations, as well as the overall effect of the bill on access to affordable care.”
21. Rep. Scott Perry (Pa.): “While I support the repeal, I’m still concerned about the alternative,” he said in a statement to Philly.com. “I agree with President Trump that this is a starting point for negotiation.”
22. Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.): The Denver Post reported that he has concerns about the bill, specifically whether Congress would have the fortitude to shut down the Medicaid expansion in 2020, in the middle of a presidential campaign.
23. Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.): “The health-care package … is an amendment – and not a clean repeal – to Obamacare,” he said in a statement as reported by the Arizona Republic. “I campaigned on a clean repeal to Obamacare and a free-market, patient-centered alternative to truly lower the costs of insurance premiums, and I intend to work with my colleagues in the House to ensure that Americans have affordable and accessible health care option.”
24. Rep. Ron DeSantis (Fla.): “By retaining the core features of ObamaCare, the American Health Care Act fails to address the escalating cost of health insurance,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
25. Rep. Stevan Pearce (New Mexico): “I’ve continuously heard from people in my district who are unable to afford coverage due to skyrocketing premiums and either forced out of the marketplace completely or forced into Medicaid,” he said in a March 7 statement. “It is no question that we need to repeal Obamacare, but we must work together to establish a suitable plan to replace it.”
26. Rep. Jeff Duncan (S.C.): “My biggest concern thus far is that the current plan falls short of the promise we made to fully repeal Obamacare,” he wrote on Facebook. “The current bill leaves large portions of that law intact, including some of the taxes.”
27. Rep. Pat Meehan (Pa.):His office told the Philadelphia Inquirer the CBO report “gives is undecided on “whether it’s prudent to move forward with the legislation and whether improvements to the bill can be made.”
28. Rep. Tom MacArthur (N.J.): “If we do a bait-and-switch, when the federal government promised 90 percent, and now, after the states have acted, we yank it away, then I’m going to have a problem,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
29. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.): He voted for it in the Budget Committee, but then clarified his vote as “procedural” and said it “does not mean I will support final passage,” adding to the Miami Herald he has “serious concerns” about the bill.
30. Rep. Tom McClintock (Calif.): “I do not think it is defensible or sustainable for us to be giving a massive tax cut to investors while we have not assured that the tax system is supporting low-income families as they try to reach out for health-care insurance in the new market we’re creating,” he said on MSNBC on March 16, after voting for the bill in the Budget Committee.
31. Rep. Ryan Costello (Pa.): Costello, who voted for the bill as it made its way through the committee, told the Times Herald on March 16 that he is reconsidering the bill, specifically the CBO projections it would cut health care for millions of people.
32. Rep. Lou Barletta (Pa.): Barletta told Pocono Record he needs reassurance that Congress will also move to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines before he can support this bill.
33. Rep. David Young (Iowa): “Right now, there’s some real apprehension in the Senate. So, one of the questions is, ‘why pass a bill in the House that you know may fail in the Senate, and go back to square one?'” he told KMA Radio on March 15, adding he’s undecided whether to support the bill.
34. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J.): “We have urged House Republican Leadership to improve the bill,” he wrote on his Facebook page on March 17. “I am awaiting the details of any substantive changes Speaker Ryan has said he will make.”
35. Rep. Dan Webster (Fla.): ” I am very concerned about the impact proposals will have on the demand for Medicaid beds in Florida nursing homes,” he said in a constituent newsletter, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
36. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.): He told the Miami Herald in a statement Friday the CBO report “raised some serious concerns,” but he did not elaborate on what, specifically.
– Leaning “yes” after leaning “no” (3 House lawmakers)
1. Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.): The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee said he would be willing to vote for the bill if leaders implemented two changes required to get the 170-member conservative caucus on board: “The first is to change the structure of the tax credits to make them partially refundable. The second is freezing Medicaid expansion enrollment during the 115th Congress.” He said Friday an agreement with Trump to make some of those changes wins his support: “On balance and with the changes we agreed to in the bill’s final text, I can vote for it.”
He added that 16 of the 17 leaders of the influential Republican Study Committee also supported the changes. It’s unclear if Rep. McClintock, who is listed here as having serious concerns about the bill and is one of those leaders, supports the changes as well.
2. Rep. Gary Palmer (Ala.): The House Freedom Caucus member voted against the bill in the House Budget Committee on March 16, but on March 18 he pledged support to Trump for the bill based on a deal to allow states to enforce a work requirement for childless adults on Medicaid.
3. Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.):”I would support this plan if it contains the changes” Rep. Walker, above, describes, he told local radio WIBC on March 17.
There are still more than 60 Republicans with major concerns about the GOP’s health care bill – Reading Eagle