Feisty Start to Obamacare Replacement Debate

A feisty start to Republican-led efforts to repeal and replace “Obamacare” with what they are calling the “American Health Care Act.”

“This bill… as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price wrote to us (Tuesday), aligns with the President’s goal of rescuing Americans from the failures of the Affordable Care Act” Houston-area Congressman and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said in his opening statement Wednesday as the Committee began marking up the proposal.

Brady also continued to stand behind the plan–despite criticism from some conservative Republicans who have called the proposal “Obamacare Light.”

“First, it repeals and dismantles many of Obamacare’s most crushing burdens for patients, job creators, and health care providers” Brady said.

Democrats have also been vocal in their opposition to the bill. In fact, San Antonio Congressman Lloyd Doggett pointed to the “secrecy” he said has surrounded what has been proposed.

“So secret that last week this bill was literally under armed guard at the Capitol… kept as secret as Donald Trump’s tax returns” Doggett said in asking for a one week delay for the proceedings.

“If you have nothing to hide, a week will not impair your effort” Doggett said, adding “We don’t know the cost, we don’t know what it covers, and we don’t know who it leaves out.”

In the end, Doggett’s request for a delay was turned down by the full Committee, though Brady admitted they are still waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office on the expected cost of the bill.

However, Brady insisted the discussion can go forward as Congress waits for that score to come in.

“We’re dedicated to getting these crucial details right for the American People, so we can provide them with the relief they need without any more delays” Brady said.

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