Justin Amash: Obamacare 2.0 ‘Has No Constituency’—Except The Political Class

paul-ryan-obamacare Win McNameeGetty
Win McNamee/Getty

Obamacare 2.0 has no support outside the D.C. political class and the insurance companies leaning on them to support the bill, according to Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash.

“It’s a bill that has no constituency,” Amash said on CNN Thursday. “Republicans at home don’t like it. Democrats at home don’t like it. It seems like the only constituency for it is the political class in Washington, and maybe some of the insurance companies. So I don’t see how this bill goes anywhere.”

“They are basically taking the Obamacare framework and basically calling it a piece of Republican legislation, and that’s not what people asked for,” he added.

A healthcare bill could get through the House, but “not this bill,” Amash said. Republicans must start over and begin working with Democrats.

“The sole objective of our leadership team is to ram this through, then go to Phase Two and have the HHS secretary make the changes, and those changes are only in place as long as he’s the secretary,” he said. “The third phase requires us to be working with Democrats, so I think we should be working with them now to see where we can find common ground. I think that we can convince Democrats… major reforms to the healthcare system are needed.”

“The president is the kind of guy who will work this hard. I think he’s going to go and use his political capital on this,” Amash continued. “At the end of the day, what they’re trying to do is a political plan… They’re trying to pass essentially Obamacare 2.0 and they want to pretend it’s ‘repeal and replace.’ Because they don’t want to upset people at home who like some of the features of Obamacare, and they want to fulfill their promises to Republicans. That’s the wrong strategy. You should really be looking at the policy… and trying to find a way we can all come together.”

The bill is not a “repeal and replace” of Obamacare, but a re-packaging of the law, Amash said.

“It doesn’t address healthcare costs, and I feel very comfortable voting against that,” he added. “Because Republicans and Democrats at home don’t support such a bill.” A vote against Obamacare 2.0 won’t cost him his seat, Amash said.


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