Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) scolded reporters at a briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, saying it is “pretty shameful” the way reporters have described the revised GOP health care bill, expected to be voted on by the House Thursday.
“We’re not doing anything to injure or hurt anybody with a pre-existing condition — I wish you guys would report that instead of reporting that is just the Democratic talking points, which is pretty shameful,” Labrador said at the Heritage Foundation’s Conversations with Conservatives monthly event with the House Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the caucus supports the legislation, even while admitting it does not repeal Obamacare.
“While it’s not a full repeal — and I’ve said this many times — it is what we believe is the best piece of legislation we can get out of the House at this moment,” Jordan said. “We’re going to continue to work towards full repeal but giving states the option to get out of from under the regulations that not we just believe but health care policy experts believe are driving up premium costs for middle-class families — we think that’s critical, so we support the legislation and hopefully we’ll have a vote before the week’s over.”
Jordan said the bill deals with “high-risk pools” in the health insurance marketplace, which Labrador explained maintains the Obamacare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions but without making Americans foot the bill.
“So we’re not doing away with helping people with pre-existing conditions — in fact, what we’re doing is we’re helping all Americans,” Labrador said. “The question is how do you pay for people with pre-existing conditions?
“The way Obamacare paid for it was by raising everybody’s premiums and making health care almost unaffordable for the average American and then covering people with pre-existing conditions,” Labrador said. “What we’re doing is we’re reducing the cost of health insurance for most Americans, well actually, for all Americans and a few select people are going to receive subsidies from the government to pay for their higher premiums.”
“We’re covering more Americans,” Labrador said “We’re making [it] more accessible for more Americans — it’s actually a better plan.”
The new bill, brokered in many aspects by Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), is expected to narrowly pass.