Never afraid to speak his mind, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas blasted the House plan to phase out the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in multiple steps.
According to the hill.com, Cotton called Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in three phases, “politicians’ talk.”
The Speaker previously went as far as to call the upcoming vote a binary choice.
“This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare,” said Ryan. “The time is here, the time is now. This is the moment, and this is the closest it will ever happen. It really comes down to a binary choice.”
Speaking on both the Hugh Hewitt Show, Tuesday, and with Laura Ingraham, Monday, Cotton disputed these claims. “This legislation has a lot of flaws in it; we can fix those flaws if we take a deliberative approach,” said Cotton. “But it is not a binary choice at this moment that we have to vote on this bill in this kind of rushed fashion, otherwise we will never repeal ObamaCare.”
Cotton went on, “there is no three-phase process. There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin. This is why. Step one is a bill that can pass with 51 votes in the Senate. That’s what we’re working on right now. Step two, as yet unwritten regulations by Tom Price, which is going to be subject to court challenge, and therefore, perhaps the whims of the most liberal judge in America. But step three, some mythical legislation in the future that is going to garner Democratic support and help us get over 60 votes in the Senate. If we had those Democratic votes, we wouldn’t need three steps. We would just be doing that right now on this legislation altogether. That’s why it’s so important that we get this legislation right, because there is no step three. And step two is not completely under our control.”
After years of arguing and making promises to repeal Obamacare, it is disappointing this is where we are. Senator Cotton is right. The House should either slow down, get conservatives on-board, and fix with amendments the American Health Care Act or start over. We need true reforms to Medicaid and an actual free market solution to driving premiums down. Instead, some Republicans seem determined to rush this bill through. That is the exact mistake the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats made in 2010. It did not work well then and it will not work well now.