House Republicans huddled this weekend to finish their ObamaCare replacement plan, while also trying to stanch criticism about a secretive and stalled process by revealing some specifics and vowing the bill will soon be available for review.
“This plan will be out next week, and everybody will have a chance to see it,” Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., a pharmacy owner and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News’ “America’s News Headquarters.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a physician with his own ObamaCare replacement plan, last week staged a media event in the Capitol building — complete with a portable copy machine — to find a draft of what he called House Republican leadership’s “secret” bill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has dismissed such allegations by Paul and congressional Democrats, vowing last week that the bill will go through an open committee process and sarcastically saying, “Give me a break.”
The Wisconsin lawmaker and others top House Republicans have also insisted that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which associates costs with the bill, certainly knows about the details and that revealing too much information could give critics an opportunity to defeat the bill before it’s even made public.
Essentially every elected Washington Republican, including President Trump, campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare, amid increasing consumer costs and dwindling options.
However, Americans are concerned that such efforts will result in roughly 11 million people losing their health care coverage without a replacement.
Carter said that under the new plan, Americans with pre-existing medical conditions will qualify for coverage, like they did under President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.
He also said the replacement plan will still allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans and include health saving accounts, which he described as “stalwarts” features.
Carter, whose Commerce committee will be a key House panel in reviewing the ObamaCare draft bill, also said insurance plans won’t be limited to the states in which they were bought and that ObamaCare’s so-called “individual mandate, or penalty for not buying insurance, will not be included.
“We’ve said we’re trying to get a plan that is more accessible, more affordable and that’s patient centered,” Carter said. “That’s the key.”