GOP Rep: Ryan’s Health Care Bill ‘Had a Laundry List of Things That I Felt Hurt the People That I Represent’

Tuesday on MSNBC, Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) said he is willing to look at any new proposal on health care but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) bill that was not voted on “had a laundry list of things that I felt hurt the people that I represent.”

Partial transcript as follows:

DONOVAN: I think I would have to look at it. Right now there are conceptual ideas. We haven’t seen any language anything in writing. I had a laundry list of things that I felt hurt the people that I represent in the original proposal. I’ve always said that the president and Speaker Ryan are courageous for attempting this. This is very complicated. They could have let the Affordable Care Act just collapse upon itself because it will. But they attempted to make corrections, things that we need to do for the American public. But they have to look through this of the lenses of what’s good for 330 million people. I have to look at the people I represent in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

TUR: They leave it to the states to do away with the mandate for essential health care benefits that will effectively force people who have preexisting conditions to pay a very high premium or very — pay a lot for their health care costs. That is not necessarily ensuring that they’re going to get health care if they have to pay more than they afford.

DONOVAN: That can be very dangerous. also, Katy, when you look at what we did to seniors. The original Affordable Care Act allowed insurance companies to charge seniors three times as much as they charge a healthy person. The proposal last week that never got voted on allowed insurance companies to charge senior citizens five times when they charge a healthy person. This is the time in our seniors’ lives when they are living on limited incomes and they probably need health insurance more than they did in earlier years. These are some of the issues that I had with the original plan. I have to see what’s being proposed now corrects any of those.

TUR: Your president said that he wanted universal health care for every person in this country, not access to health care. Why are Republicans in the Freedom Caucus just forging ahead with the plan that would deny so many millions, according to the CBO  in that last report, and who knows how the CBO would rate this if this ends up going to the floor for a bill — why are they so bent on making sure that they lose their health care? Why is this not a plan that’s being made more moderate instead of more conservative?

DONOVAN: I don’t know. In Washington, one of the things you have to do in our business is learn to count. Right now to pass any kind of legislation we need 216 votes. There are five vacancies right now so the magic number is 216. I suspect the folks at leadership are counting those heads. I don’t know why people would want to allow people to go without health care, allow people who have health care now to lose that health care. It is very expensive. We have to do something. If we don’t change what’s happening with Medicaid, it is not going to be around for people who come after us. So we have to do this compassionately. It is very difficult to pull the rug out from people who have now become dependent on having health care. But the CBO report that you just mentioned, the last one anyhow, said 24 million Americans would be without health care that currently have health care with the new proposal. The new proposal wasn’t going to help those people with high premiums and high deductibles and co-pays. The CBO says in 20 years people paying $20,000 a year, premiums would only be paying $18,000. That’s not the relief we promised to the American people.

TUR: Would you rather work with the Democrats on this to fix Obamacare rather than repealing the entire thing?

DONOVAN: We have to fix our health care system. It is broken and in great need of repair. However, we get that done I am willing to work —

TUR: So, yes, I would like to work with Democrats is what I hear you saying.

DONOVAN: I would like to work with everyone.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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