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Neal on “Morning Joe”: GOP Rhetoric on Health Care Hasn’t Caught Up with Plan

January 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) this morning appeared on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" and discussed Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care, which would cause nearly 30 million Americans to lose their health insurance.

 

Key Excerpts:

 

On GOP Plans to Repeal the Affordable Care Act:

 

“Sounds to me as though the rhetoric hasn’t caught up with the plan. I must tell you, sounds to me again as I’ve listened now and I heard Congressman Collins say, ‘Well, there are six different plans.’ Well, I must tell you, those of us on the Democratic side, we’ve not heard one of them, and we certainly have not seen one of them…They’ve had a bit of an open mic when it comes to talking about repeal, they’ve not concentrated on the idea of replace. So, I think that the opportunity that they’ve presented to the American people right now is pretty empty.”

 

On potential changes to the Affordable Care Act:

 

“Here’s the problem: Why wouldn’t they [Republicans] treat Obamacare the way we treated George Bush’s prescription D benefit plan?...We won the House, we won the Senate, we won the Presidency, and quickly we closed the ‘donut hole’ and moved on…Part D of Medicare is now an accepted entitlement. There was no effort made to repeal it. Instead, we improved it. And I think here, there was that opportunity but they have used the rhetoric of repeal, really without replace, and I’d like to improve it but here’s the other part of it that I think that bears noting: you need the mandate…you can’t do the other things by expanding coverage without requiring people to have health insurance.”

 

On GOP efforts to eliminate the health insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act:

 

“What they’ve [Republicans] suggested is that you could actually wait until you got sick before you bought health insurance. Any actuary can tell you that the idea of insurance is to spread risk, but that risk includes the mandate, and I think in this instance here it’s the mandate that holds the entire Obamacare plan together. I think it’s an entirely reasonable expenditure.”