Club for Growth: Senate Bill Is Not Obamacare Repeal

Rachael Slobodien - June 27th, 2017

“Only in Washington does repeal mean restore.  Because that’s exactly what the Senate GOP healthcare bill does: it restores Obamacare.”

Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued the following statement in response to the Senate GOP’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”  In his statement, McIntosh also outlines ways in which the Senate should improve its current legislation:

“For seven long years, Americans have waited for health care reform that would repeal the disaster that is Obamacare,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.  “The Club for Growth and the American people took Republicans in Congress at their word when they promised to repeal every word – ‘root and branch’ – of Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered approach to health care.”

“Only in Washington does repeal translate to restore.  Because that’s exactly what the Senate GOP healthcare bill does: it restores Obamacare.  And while it’s hard to imagine, in some ways the Senate’s legislation would make our nation’s failing healthcare system worse.

“At the time of the House bill’s passage, Club for Growth was adamant that the Senate bill needed to be an improvement over the House bill.

“Sadly, what the Senate has produced is Obamacare-light.   It fails to repeal Obamacare, and the legislation fails to help hard-working American families have affordable health insurance.

“There are numerous flaws in the current Senate version:

  • For starters, the Senate bill is a $292 billion tax increase from the House bill.
  • The Senate bill claims to save taxpayers billions in spending with Medicaid reforms.  In actuality, they punt the difficult task of cutting spending to a future Congress—almost assuring that it will never happen.  This will bankrupt future generations due to Senate Republicans’ lack of political courage.
  • Americans will continue to pay higher health insurance premiums.   The Senate bill leaves untouched Obamacare’s most onerous regulations, which have forced millions of Americans and small businesses to drop their health insurance because of higher premiums and deductibles.
  • The Senate bill creates Republican mandates and penalties for Americans who can’t afford the Obamacare-light health insurance.

“From the beginning of this debate, Club for Growth was crystal clear about what constituted a real repeal of Obamacare.  Repeal all the tax increases, repeal the mandates, and repeal the regulations that make health insurance unaffordable. The Senate GOP’s healthcare bill falls woefully short on all three.

“Given the inadequacies in the current version of the Senate bill, the Club for Growth urges Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to take the time necessary to get it right.  The Senate bill can be cured, and the Club for Growth will not oppose the bill’s passage if a few important changes are made. 

  • First, the Senate should adopt language that will allow an insurer that sells a fully compliant plan the ability to also sell any plan that a consumer would like to purchase.  Alternatively, the legislation should allow the states to opt-out of all Title I regulations.
  • Second, in order to equalize the tax treatment with employer-sponsored plans, individuals should be allowed to pay for insurance premiums with their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Third, all of the Obamacare taxes must be repealed.

“Absent these reasonable changes to drive down the cost of premiums and provide consumers with more choices and more freedom, the Club for Growth will oppose the ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.’”

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