Sen. Tom Cotton to House Republicans: ‘Start Over’ on Health Care

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is calling on House Republicans to withdraw the Obamacare 2.0 bill, the American Health Care Act, that House Speaker Paul Ryan put forward and “start over.”

The strong words from Cotton–including the comparison of the process that Ryan has been pushing to the efforts now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used to push Obamacare through back when she was Speaker–come as Ryan has lost considerable support inside the Republican Party when it comes to this legislation.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been leading an effort along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the House Freedom Caucus to get Republicans to rethink how they handle this rather rushing through what amounts to Obamacare 2.0. The bill from Ryan keeps the individual mandate but tweaks it so the government no longer collects a tax from those who do not purchase health insurance but insurance companies–with government backing for enforcement–collect a fee from those who do not purchase health insurance.

In addition, the bill keeps the Obamacare Cadillac Tax indefinitely and does not phase out other Obamacare taxes for some time after 2017, and also allows for illegal aliens to access Medicaid expansion funds in states–all while not effectively rolling back the Medicaid expansion, most expert groups say. That’s all on top of the fact that Ryan’s bill does not actually repeal Obamacare, it just amends it slightly–while keeping the same structures that the previous president’s landmark healthcare legislation put in place in the insurance universe.

As Breitbart News has reported, many Republicans party-wide–including House members not in the House Freedom Caucus and Senators from across the party like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who says the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate–are lining up against the bill. As many as 70 or more House Republicans, multiple House GOP aides say, are currently against the legislation and want leadership to as Cotton says “start over.”

It remains to be seen what will happen next, but spokespersons for Ryan and for House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)–another driving force behind the bill–have not responded to requests for comment in response to Cotton’s call for them to “start over” on healthcare.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.