President Trump famously vowed that the Republican replacement for Obamacare would provide “insurance for everybody” back in January. His Republican colleagues quickly dialed the comment back and said that what he meant was that everyone would have “access” to healthcare but not necessarily that they would be able to afford it. This reading of Trump’s comments makes them exactly useless. Even before the ACA took effect the reason people didn’t have insurance was because they couldn’t afford it; not because they lacked “access.”
On Tuesday during a Weights and Means committee meeting Representative Earl Blumenaur (D-OR) introduced an amendment to the American Healthcare Act (Republican’s Repeal and Replace Bill) that would force Republians to keep Trump’s promise to the American people:
“Mr. Chairman I have a very simple amendment: it would state that nothing in this bill would take place unless the congressional budget office certifies that everybody gets health insurance as a result of this bill. It keeps President Trump’s promise.”
Blumenaur claims that, whether or not Trump has walked back his language, he promised the American people health coverage and a good number of them – especially on the right – believe that this is what he intends to do.
He also lamented the haste and lack of professional input seen in the preparation of the new Republican bill. He used a quote coming from the Trump himself that suggests the president was “surprised by the complexity of healthcare.” All the more reason, Blumenaur argued, to make sure the ACA replacement is done properly:
“Last week, our president discovered that healthcare was complicated with a meeting with governors. In fact, he said famously ‘who knew?’ Well, every member of this committee knew that healthcare is complicated.”
The amendment would still have to go through a number of steps in order to actually become a part of the bill which some are calling “Trumpcare.” But the fact that it is being discussed at all will make it much harder for Republicans to dump anyone who’s currently receiving coverage under the ACA.
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