Conservatives Resist Bill Allowing States That Like Obamacare to Keep It

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Photo by Gage Skidmore

(The Daily Signal) Republican leaders in Congress appear to be backing away from a plan supported by four GOP senators that would’ve kept Obamacare in place for states that like the law.

According to a senior Republican aide, GOP committee chairmen, as well as conservative lawmakers, are moving against the bill introduced earlier this week by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine.

Congressional leaders and Republican lawmakers discussed the legislation Thursday during a session on health care at the GOP’s joint retreat in Philadelphia.

The bill, called the Patient Freedom Act, would allow states that “like Obamacare to keep Obamacare,” while also giving states that are unhappy with the law the freedom to implement a new health care system.

But the plan, which Cassidy hoped would attract Democratic support, hasn’t earned the backing of some of his colleagues in Congress.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that the bill’s design was flawed.

“If you’re going to let New York and California keep Obamacare, but you’re going to pay for it federally, essentially you’re asking states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia—all these states that are going to choose they don’t like Obamacare—you’re going to ask them to pay for New York and California’s Obamacare,” the Kentucky senator said.

Paul, who introduced his own replacement plan Wednesday, also said the bill wasn’t likely to unite Republicans.

“’If you like Obamacare, you can keep Obamacare’ is not a ringing sort of rallying cry that Republicans across the country are going to rally to,” he said. “I would say the vast majority of Republicans who voted in the election thought they were voting for people to repeal Obamacare, not keep it.”…

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