This weekend on ABC, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton explained what’s at stake for Republicans who are considering passing the AHCA, or as we like to call it, Obamacare Lite. When asked by George Stephanopoulos what would happen, Cotton noted:
“I’m afraid that if they vote for this bill, they’re going to put the House majority at risk next year, and we have majorities in the House, the Senate, and the White House not only to repeal Obamacare and get healthcare reform right, but to reform our taxes, and our regulations, and to build up our military and accomplish many other things, and I don’t want to see the House majority put at risk on a bill that is not going to pass the Senate. That’s why I think we should take a pause, try to solve as many of the problems on both Medicaid and the individual insurance market in this bill in the House, and then allow the Senate to take its work up.”
Cotton’s not alone in his criticism. The AHCA has been criticized by all the disparate elements in the conservative movement. Conservative healthcare wonk Avik Roy noted that the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill will make healthcare “unaffordable for millions.” The Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein noted that the Republican bill signaled that “liberalism has already won.” Jason Pye, spokesman for grassroots conservative group Freedomworks, summed it up best:
“This is ObamaCare-lite. It creates a new entitlement through the refundable tax credits. It allows insurance companies to assess a 30 percent penalty on those who don’t keep continuous coverage for 63 days, which is an individual mandate by another name.
”We’re 100 percent behind the efforts of Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and the House Freedom Caucus to bring real patient-centered alternatives to replace ObamaCare, and we have endorsed Rand Paul and Mark Sanford’s ObamaCare Replacement Act, which sets the benchmark for a shift away from ObamaCare.”