SENATE REPUBLICANS ADMIT “SKINNY” REPEAL IS A BAIT AND SWITCH TO THE HOUSE REPEAL BILL THEY SAID THEY OPPOSED

SENATE REPUBLICANS ADMIT “SKINNY” REPEAL IS A BAIT AND SWITCH TO THE HOUSE REPEAL BILL THEY SAID THEY OPPOSED

Cornyn says the House Bill Would Be A “Template”

The latest Republican repeal scheme — the so-called skinny repeal plan — is nothing more than a bait and switch. It goes like this: pass a bill that can get 50 votes in the Senate, or the “lowest common denominator” as HHS Secretary Tom Price admitted this morning. Then, use that bill to hold more partisan secret backroom deals with the House, using the House repeal bill — which only one in five Americans supported, took coverage away from 23 million people, raised premiums by double digits, ended Medicaid as we know it and allowed insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions — as a “template.”

A vote to pass the Senate’s “skinny” plan is in effect voting for the House repeal bill, a proposal that many senators said they opposed. In other words, a vote for the “skinny” plan will break their promises to oppose the House repeal bill.

SENATE REPUBLICANS ADMIT THE “SKINNY” REPEAL BILL IS A SCHEME TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE HOUSE REPEAL BILL AS A “TEMPLATE”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX): “All We’re Looking At Is A Way To Get That To Conference Quick” And The House Bill Would Be A “Template” For Negotiations. “Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) indicated Wednesday that is it likely the Senate will try to pass a scaled-down ObamaCare repeal bill as a way to move to negotiations with the House. …Republicans view the so-called skinny bill as a way to keep the repeal process alive, given the chamber’s apparent inability to get the votes for a more sweeping bill. Cornyn said the House-passed bill could be the ‘template’ for the negotiations in the conference committee.…’So I think all we’re looking at is a way to get to that conference quick,’ he added.” [The Hill, 7/26/17]

  • Cruz Amendment Gutting Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions Would Be On The Table In Conference. “Cornyn noted that new Senate ideas — such as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) amendment to let insurers sell plans outside of ObamaCare’s regulations and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) amendment to add $100 billion to help people losing Medicaid afford private coverage — could be included and could help pave the way for a deal in the conference committee.” [The Hill, 7/26/17]

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “My Personal Goal Is To Make Sure That We Find Something That 50 Of Us Agree On, That We Can Then Pass As A Vehicle To Get To Conference To Do A More Comprehensive Bill.” [Roll Call, 7/25/17]

Sen. Corker (R-TN): “Skinny” Repeal Is “Forcing Mechanism” To Get To Conference With The House. “Corker says ‘content’ of skinny bill not the point, rather it is ‘forcing mechanism’ for conference with House.” [The Hill’s Peter Sullivan Tweet, 7/26/17]

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) Said Skinny Repeal Is A Way To Get To Conference. “Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) likewise said Wednesday that passing the skinny bill would be a way to get to the conference committee, and would also buy time for the Congressional Budget Office to score the new proposals, including the Cruz and Portman amendments.” [The Hill, 7/26/17]

GOP SENATORS WOULD BE BREAKING THEIR PROMISE TO OPPOSE THE HOUSE REPEAL BILL

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): “I Am Opposed To The American Health Care Act.” “As I have stated previously, while I am in favor of repealing Obamacare, I am opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its current form. This bill does not do enough to address Nevada’s Medicaid population or protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions. The AHCA is a first step, but not the solution; now the Senate is doing its own work to put forth its own ideas that could work for states like Nevada. I remain engaged in discussions with my colleagues from Medicaid expansion states as well as Governor Sandoval, the Administration, and senators on both sides of the aisle to find a viable path forward.” [Sen. Heller Statement, 5/24/17]

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): On The House Repeal Bill’s Impact On Medicaid, “I’m Concerned About What The House Bill Might Do With That.” “Another concern West Virginia health care advocates brought up is the cut to Medicaid expansion. They said that throughout the next 10 years, the bill would cut $4 billion in funding to the state. U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she isn’t willing to let that happen. ‘I’m concerned about what the house bill might do with that,’ Capito said Wednesday.” [WSAZ, 5/3/17]

  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): “I’m Not Satisfied.” “I’m not satisfied. I’m worried about a lot of folks in West Virginia, of opioid and drug abuse issues, and the expanded Medicaid has helped with that.” [Washington Post, 3/23/17]

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): “I’ve Already Made Clear That I Don’t Support The House Bill As Currently Constructed.” “I’ve already made clear that I don’t support the House bill as currently constructed because I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion population, especially those who are receiving treatment for heroin and prescription drug abuse. We have an opioid crisis in this country, and I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues on solutions that ensure that those who are impacted by this epidemic can continue to receive treatment.” [Portman Statement, 5/4/17]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “I Would Be A No In The Senate.” [Tweet, 3/21/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “It’s Not Our Bill.” “That’s the House bill. The Senate bill is going to be the Senate bill. Obviously the CBO score is one data point and it’s instructive, but it’s not our bill.” [Roll Call, 5/26/17]

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): “I Am A No.” [Tweet, 3/21/17]

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): “I Still Cannot Support The House Healthcare Bill.” “Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House healthcare bill, nor would it pass the Senate.” [The Hill, 3/21/17]

  • Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): “The House Should Continue Its Work On This Bill.” “The House should continue its work on this bill,” Cotton said Tuesday in a statement, adding that the changes offered Monday night don’t address rising premiums and deductibles. “It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.” [Bloomberg Politics, 3/21/17]

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): “I Will Not Vote To Support It Until I Have Enough Information That Whatever We’re Going To Pass Will Work.” “Let’s be honest. Not a whole lot of people are loving the (House bill) right now. I will not vote to support it until I have enough information that whatever we’re going to pass will work.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/21/17]

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO): “Concerned That Any Poorly Implemented Or Poorly Timed Change In The Current Funding Structure In Medicaid Could Result In A Reduction In Access To Life-saving Health Care Services.” [Letter to McConnell, 3/6/17]

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): Radically Reshape the House Bill. “Bill Cassidy of Louisiana says he wants to radically reshape the House bill so that it covers more people, not the 24 million fewer estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. [Bloomberg Politics, 3/21/17]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I’m Very Worried What The House Bill Would Do To Arizona.” [Talking Points Memo, 3/13/17]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “I Am Not At All Comfortable With The House-Passed Bill.” “I am not at all comfortable with the House-passed bill. And, indeed, I would oppose the House-passed bill. The Senate bill is still a work in progress. We haven’t seen the actual language. We’re trying to influence the direction of that. But a bill that results in 23 million people losing coverage is not a bill that I can support. So, we will see what the Senate comes up with. It’s still being drafted.” [CNN State of the Union, 6/11/17]

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “There Does Seem To Be A Consensus That The House Bill Could Never Pass The Senate And I’m Certainly Of That Belief As Well.” “‘There does seem to be a consensus that the House bill could never pass the Senate and I’m certainly of that belief as well,’ said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who cited the CBO report’s finding that 23 million people would lose insurance under the House bill over the next decade.” [The Hill, 5/29/17]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “I Want To Get Right Rather Than Get It Behind Us, And That’s Going To Take Time.” “Speaking to reporters after her lunchtime Chamber speech, she said that she’d rather see Congress ‘get it right’ when it comes to health care reform. ‘There are some who are very interested in moving it as quickly as possible to ‘get it behind us.’ I don’t think that’s the responsible path. I want to get right rather than get it behind us, and that’s going to take time,’ she said.” [Juneau Empire, 6/1/17]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Wanted The Senate To Start With A “Clean Slate.” [Bloomberg, 5/4/17]