Conservatives have been critical of what they say are slow GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare
House Republican leaders introduced their replacement plan Monday evening
Freedom Caucus member and former Chairman Jim Jordan said Monday that he was still unimpressed with the House GOP’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare and had not seen significant enough changes to win back his support.
“I don’t see any significant changes here,” Jordan said in an interview with CNN. “It’s significantly the same thing to me so it sort of doesn’t change my position, but we’ll talk to our guys tomorrow night. “
“My guess is this bill looks a lot like the last one, and we didn’t like the last one,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s reaction kicks off what could be a long list of conservative concerns about the bill. The Ohio Republican cited specific frustration with the fact that the House bill would keep Obamacare taxes in place until 2018 instead of repealing them immediately like a 2015 repeal and replacement measure vetoed by President Barack Obama.
“We put on President Obama’s desk a bill that got rid of all the taxes and … a Republican Congress is going to put on a Republican president’s desk a bill that keeps taxes in place?” Jordan said.
The other major roadblock for conservatives remains the use of advanceable, refundable tax credits, which many call nothing more than a new entitlement program. The purpose of the tax credits, leadership argues, is to ensure that low-income people can purchase insurance.
“If it’s an advanced, refundable tax credit so you’re giving a credit to people who don’t have a liability, that’s just a subsidy,” Jordan said.
The House’s Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees released their Obamacare repeal and replacement bill Monday night without a score from the Congressional Budget Office. Jordan said that was in of itself not a concern for him, but he noted the programs in the bill may be costly.
“I got to believe those things cost a lot – the Medicaid expansion and the subsidy part of it, the tax credit issue – I assume maybe it’s not a good score, but I don’t know,” Jordan said.
Jordan argued that now that House leadership has their plan out in the open, there are three plans for Republicans to choose from.
“We put our plan out there – and we put our plan out there weeks ago – and there’s three plans. …There’s the Cassidy-Collins ‘like Obamacare, you get to keep Obamacare.’ There’s this one, which I think in many ways is Obamacare by just a different format, and then there’s our plan, which I think is the one that’s entirely consistent with what the voters expected and what we told them we were going to do.”
Jordan said the answer had to be to bring back “affordable insurance for working-class families.”
“I think working-class families would much prefer to be able to purchase insurance than go on a government program,” Jordan said. “We want to bring back affordable insurance, and you don’t do it this way.”