A Few House Conservatives Slam GOP Leaders for Inadequate Obamacare ‘Fix’

(Paul Chesser, Liberty Headlines) While the conservative House Freedom Caucus was generally characterized as “on board” with the Obamacare overhaul passed on Thursday, one of its members — Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona — could not bring himself to vote for it.

Andy Biggs photo

Andy Biggs Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

A few other conservative House members, who don’t officially meet with the caucus, opposed it as well. But the final bill was opposed more by moderate Republicans than by conservatives, as it was perceived that the Freedom Caucus drove the tinkering process more, which kept more of their members on board than those involved with the centrist Tuesday Group.

But Biggs couldn’t go along, he said, because of promises he made to his voters.

“Unfortunately, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) leaves the basic framework of Obamacare in place and continues to commit Republicans to an ill-considered, ill-defined, and an almost certainly ill-fated three-stage plan to completely repeal Obamacare at an unspecified later date,” the Congressman said in a statement released Thursday. “Even worse, I have seen no compelling evidence that the AHCA will offer substantive relief to Arizona families who have been crushed by devastatingly high health insurance premiums. For these reasons, and because I promised my constituents a full repeal, I voted ‘no’ on this legislation.”

Thoughout negotiations between factions among House Republicans, conservatives sought more repeals of Obamacare’s complexities and regulations, rather than tinkering with its mandates and taxes. What the majority ended up with is now being characterized as a “good first step,” with plans for further revisions down the road.

That wasn’t good enough for Biggs.

“The AHCA does not do anything to eliminate the costly [Affordable Care Act] subsidies already in place, and it continues the dangerous precedent established by the ACA of granting the federal government the power to regulate our nation’s healthcare system,” said Biggs, who is serving his first term in Congress. “I did not come to Washington to give unelected bureaucrats the authority to dictate health insurance options to me, my family, or the residents of [my district]. This is not a fight I am prepared to surrender.”

During debate Biggs attempted to introduce two amendments to the AHCA. One was to allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines, which many Republicans — including President Trump — advocated for during the 2016 campaign. The other would have allowed states to opt out of provisions of Obamacare or the AHCA without need for waiver approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both amendments were denied.

Other conservative members of the House, who don’t consider themselves part of the Freedom Caucus, also voted against AHCA.

“For reasons I cannot understand, instead of moving a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that will fix our broken health care system, the Washington Republican leadership jammed a bill through the House that does neither,” said Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC.

The 12-term Congressman criticized House leaders for utilizing methods that they criticized Democrats for when they held majority power.

“The rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful,” Jones said. “Over the past several weeks, they cut deal after deal to secure members’ support, and then pushed the bill to the floor without a [Congressional Budget Office] score. As a result, no one has any idea how much those deals will cost the American taxpayers, or how they might affect the cost, quality and availability of health insurance coverage for American families.

“Seven years ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said of the Obamacare bill: ‘You have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.’ Sadly, the Washington Republican leadership is repeating the same mistakes.”

Conservative Republican Thomas Massie from Kentucky also slammed the process by which AHCA was formulated and passed.

“The former Democrat Speaker of the House was rightfully derided for imploring Members to vote for a healthcare bill to ‘find out what was in it.’ Yet today, we voted on a healthcare bill for which the text was available only a few hours before the vote.”

Massie said AHCA fell far short of what Republican candidates and incumbents promised voters during the 2016 campaign.

“As recently as a year ago,” he said, “Republicans argued that mandates were unconstitutional, bailouts were immoral, and subsidies would bankrupt our country. Today, however, the House voted for a healthcare bill that makes these objectionable measures permanent….

“By repealing a small number of Obamacare mandates, while leaving others in place, this bill runs the risk of destroying what remains of the individual health insurance market.”

Massie said the necessary replacement to Obamacare is free market incentives and minimized government regulation.

“This bill should have included measures that allow Americans to take charge of their own healthcare and get the government out of the way,” he said. “These measures include allowing the deduction of health insurance costs from income taxes, giving everyone the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, and allowing individuals to band together through any organization to purchase insurance….

“If this bill becomes law, it could result in worse outcomes, fewer options, and higher prices for Kentuckians who seek health care,” he added. “In summary, I voted against this bill not because it’s imperfect, but because it’s not good.”

  • slk5

    biggs made promises to his voters, and in return his plan is to give them nothing…you wait for getting everything, and you wind up with nothing and pissed supporters, that get nothing!!!

    • Bob Wexler

      Nothing is exactly what was promised. FULL REPEAL of ACA.
      Then start work on a few small bills as suggested above.

      • slk5

        and full repeal will never happen… what you say will happen, NOTHING…you know and i know, it’ll never get through the senate, and the useless gop continues on!!! you have to know, because of the ineptness of the gop, only liberal socialists can possibly get everything they want!!!

        • roger dodger

          The RINO c-suckers campaigned on repealing the insurance rape and building the wall.
          They were awarded the biggest win in many years.
          Suddenly the scum are talking about prohibiting the wall and Repairing/replacing the insurance.
          The Rino c-= suckers have been doing this to us for 17 years.
          if we have to destroy the republican party to rid of the RINO garbge, so be it.

          • slk5

            i will not support anyone who’s making this difficult for the USA, i understand wanting everything, but i don’t understand being happy with nothing…any anti trumps out there have no chance of potus aspirations, i’ll never support them…God Save America!!!

          • desertpirate

            This isn’t about anti-Trump
            “slick 5” it’s about the Republicans we supported and elected to rid us of Obamacare and all they’re doing is tinkering around the edges and keeping this entitlement in place. You speak of not being able to have “everything”. That’s only because the Republicans WE elected won’t do what they said they’d do for the past six and a half years since Obamacare was passed. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a full repeal. But I guess you’re just willing to settle for Obamacare-lite.

          • slk5

            you will never get a repeal past the senate…they need 60 votes and they won’t get one liberal socialist…but i will accept chopping it down till it’s gone instead of having the alternative, keeping bamacare!!! and after all this bickering it will be almost impossible to pick up the needed seats, they may actually lose the senate, then you’ll get nothing!!!

          • David Silbernagel

            The thing is nothing is better then what the house just passed. There is a way by Senate rules to break the filibuster but the Republicans have to be willing to go the total way and invoke the rules that would eventually stop the filibustering. This can be done by holding sessions continuously until all the Democrats have used up their allotted filibustering time. It has just become too much for both sides to go through with it because our leaders are to lazy to have to hold a session continuously for maybe up to a week to get through all the Democratic Senators. Just read up on the rules for breaking filibusters !!

          • slk5

            i agree…i just have no faith in the republicans to do anything, it seems they all take turns to disrupt…before they were united on repeal bamacare, now people on both sides have major problems…i’m just praying that beyond trump, someone shows up that i can have faith in supporting…as of right now, there’s no one who could win an election!!!

          • Falcon Aviator

            Hello There!!! Open your EYES and FACE THE REALITIES!!! Since Mr Trump has been elected and found himself in the Oval Office, he started to ONLY IMPLEMENT THE TEXT BOOK OF THE D.C. SWAMP, the same D.C. SWAMP Trump was supposed to DRAIN. …. Trump has been doing the opposites of Whatever he has promised. In his latest move he is now SLEEPING IN THE SAME BED with the AUTOCRATIC ARAB Country called Saudi Arabia which is the MOTHER OF ALL WORLD TERRORISTS with their so called Wahanism which is nickname of Eating Christians Alive…
            From my end, I am completely disillusioned hence I rest my case and as I will wait till the next Presidential Election. simply because Mr. Trump is presently SWALLOWED BY THE
            D.C. SWAMP instead…

          • slk5

            you don’t have to wait till next election, to find out what happens, if trump isn’t elected, you’ll help a liberal socialist win, and never see another one of your favorites in the oval office…i wasn’t going to support any dirtbag, until trump came along, no difference now…trump won without the anti trumps support, and somehow you think you’ll win this time…gop dirtbags “need” trump supporters to have any chance to win, but you won’t get one…you dream too much!!!

  • BigJohnny

    Wheres the bill, wheres the bill, I don’t think anyone is back there! Do you see anyone for the last 7 years working on repeal and replace health care bill? They ALL to blame not Trump. We put Trump in because nobody would do anything. Now there all mad because now there is a new boss that realy wants to get something done! DRAIN THE SWAMP !!! And start all over!!

    • Raymond Babcock

      Merle Haggard wrote a song. When the president goes through white doors and does what he said he will do. we will be drinking free bubble and eating rainbow stew with a silver spoon under a blue sky. This is true for Trump. Trump is trying to do what he ran on. If our government were to put Americans first for America. This would change the world. For we would own everything. Everyone on the planet would work for America.

  • elcue

    The complete Scumbama Care has to be dissolved as if it never existed. The Demogogs and GOP will never let this happen so Trump will be made a laughing stock. He is an outsider and the only way he will succeed is if we the voters drain the swamp with our votes.

  • CompletelyOutsane

    They would be better off doing nothing and letting it fail miserably! Then get government the h3ll out of healthcare!

    • desertpirate


  • Raymond Babcock

    The America we have now It is so far from the constitution by intent there is no rule of law They American constitution does guarantee you anything health care no there is not enough room here for me to write all of it

  • RealAmerican407

    The left is telling us all that people will die and being hyperbolic as usual. GOP RINOs are telling us it’s a repeal when it’s obvious that it isn’t, it’s just a weakened ACA replacement. Both sides are lying and all will suffer under continued government intervention into private markets except now republicans own it 100%.

  • James Langham

    Hope the Orange Fuhrer, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and the rest of the “Black Lagoon” dwellers, Ryan, McConnell et al, succeed in their determination to destroy the ACA, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. By the time their constituents, that voted for them, realize that they are the ones this will effect the most, it will be far too late for them.

  • JWB

    That’s all very admirable. But the American people know that this is another example of how the “game is played”. There was enough votes to pass the bill, they always count votes and won’t even consider bringing it to the floor without that, therefore they didn’t “need” these honorable representatives to vote in favor. They can posture and make noble statements, go home to their constituents in good favor. They were “selected” to vote no because they are in “at risk” districts. Simple as that.
    We won’t get fooled again.

  • spike

    To any people – not just Americans – when they have received what they perceive to be a freeby, it is impossible to take it away. What I fear is that it will take a cataclysmic event to get this country, and perhaps the world back on an even keel – where adults expect to take care of themselves and those they are responsible for without recourse to others (taxpayers) who have been more successful in planning for taking on being an adult.

  • katfan

    I voted for the GOP and am very disappointed that they are wasting a great opportunity to do the right thing. Apparently it is easy to talk, but more difficult to act, when that action might be somewhat difficult. However, actions have consequences. I really think that we need term limits so that all politicians will quit doing what may or may not get them elected and what is best for the country!

    • MidclassTaxpayr

      The danger I see with term limits is that this country is more liberal now than it ever was, including voters, and becoming more so each year. What does that really say about our future members of Congress? Judging from what I see going on in this country, with fraudulent elections, etc., I see more liberals being elected as future members of Congress, not fewer. Yes, liberals and RINOs need to be ousted and replaced, but with whom? Scary.

  • Lawrence L. Camarena

    They had to start somewhere. Now the Senate will write their own bill. Then the House and the Senate will wheel and deal! Then wheel and deal with the POTUS.I am crossing my fingers that people won’t have to bend over and grab their ankles like when Obama Care passed. Impossible being worse and will probably be much better.

  • President Trump is forced to deal with the House and Senate – the problem is that – not only every Democrat is against him, but even those in his own party. Fools are trying to blame the president because he has not been able to deliver 100 percent of what he promised without thinking that both houses must support him. We put them in office to follow what the president promised and the Republican Party is betraying the voters by being as obstructionists as the Democrats – that’s just simply ignorance – and we the American people are their victims.

  • Jack Leonard

    Get the government out of the healthcare business completely. Full repeal is what we were promised and we will not settle for less.

  • Crazy Barry

    Time to move from “draining the swamp”, to flushing the toilet.

  • skisok

    Destroying what is left of the individual insurance market would the best thing that ever happened to this country. Why should insurance company executives mandate what my insurance needs are?

  • desertpirate

    Biggs is one of the few heros!
    Fillibuster is a Dutch word for pirate. What an apt name for it.
    The fillibuster can be done away with. It WAS done away with in the House back in the 1850s. It is long past due to be done away with. All it does today is provide the Republicans WE elected an excuse to do NOTHING!
    It requires a simple rule change by the majority to get rid of this arcane practice. Then, the will of the people won’t be held hostage to those too ensnared in political favors to DO THEIR JOB!
    Jelly spined so-called ‘supporters’ of the conservative agenda do no favors to the cause of liberty when they make excuses for these worthless RINOs. It’s time to hold these political hacks feet to the fire and demand a permanent elimination of the fillibuster. And yes…I know the Dems will have the same power if they ever take control of the Senate. It’s up to the voters to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • Cecilia Robarge

    Time to vote out all the rinos and the obola butt kissers in congress. duh…

  • And you also forget that this is Ryancare and not a healthcare bill as I would have liked it to repeal all of Obamacare which is still unaffordable and it will always be until you get rid of all of it forever and deep six it in the Atlantic ocean.