Conservatives in the House are expressing concerns over language in a draft bill of the House Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) fear while rolling back former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation, language in the blueprint is creating a new entitlement program.
“There are serious problems with what appears to be our current path to repeal and replace Obamacare. The draft legislation, which was leaked last week, risks continuing major Obamacare entitlement expansions and delays any reforms. It kicks the can down the road in the hope that a future Congress will have the political will and fiscal discipline to reduce spending that this Congress apparently lacks. Worse still,” RSC Chairman Mark Walker said in a statement.”The bill contains what increasingly appears to be a new health insurance entitlement with a Republican stamp on it.”
Walker said he couldn’t vote for the legislation in its current form or recommend the bill to the members of the RSC.
HFC Chairman Mark Meadows said the tax credits in the draft legislation would increase from what was seen under Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act was only accessible to those who earned 400 times less than the poverty line, while the GOP blueprint provides subsides based on age, not income, effectively widening the scope of who receives funds, Slate reports.
“I mean there are a number of ways that we could probably figure out a way to fund health savings accounts without making it a reoccurring entitlement. But at the same time I think we’re going to have to all hopefully work together to come up with some policy initiatives that will do that,” Meadows told reporters Monday.
Meadows noted parts of the language included in the draft would not be applicable under the Bryd Rule, which allows senators to block a piece of reconciliation legislation if it significantly increases the federal deficit beyond a decade.
“I think there are a number of things in the draft that I have an issue with many of the things in the draft will not pass Byrd in the Senate anyways.” he said. “And so for us to suggest that this is a replacement plan knowing full well that many of the Byrd rules would preclude them from being included in the reconciliation instructions perhaps gives the false impression of what it can do and what it can’t do.”
A senior GOP noted tax credits have long been included in health reform plans “largely embraced by RSC and HFC including now Secretary Price’s plan that he introduced in the House.”