Prominent Conservative Groups Missing from Coalition Letter Endorsing Speaker Ryan’s Obamacare-lite Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks at a news conference following a GOP party conference at the Capitol, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP/Andrew Harnik

Paul Ryan lauded a coalition letter that supports the Republican leadership’s Obamacare-lite plan, however, many prominent conservative groups remain opposed to Ryancare.

Speaker Ryan commended a conservative coalition letter that endorsed his bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The coalition letter said, “As advocates of free market principles and limited government, we endorse this significant legislation that would take the first major step toward repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. In its place, it would create a more market-oriented health care system that prioritizes liberty, consumer choice, and innovation over Obamacare’s government mandates.”

The list of conservative groups that signed on the coalition letter include Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, the Market Institute, and Citizens Against Government Waste.

However, many conservative organizations remain opposed to what they view is “Obamacare-lite.”

Many conservative and libertarian activist organizations remain missing from Ryan’s “broad” list of coalitions. Notable conservative and libertarian groups missing from the list include Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots, and the Cato Institute.

Conservative organizations such as Americans for Prosperity called this bill “Obamacare 2.0.” Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon called this bill “a train wreck waiting to happen.” Club for Growth said, “The problems with this bill are not just what’s in it, but also what’s missing.” Heritage Action for America complained, “That is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.”

FreedomWorks opposed Speaker Ryan’s plan since its inception. Jason Pye, FreedomWork’s director of public policy and legislative affairs, referred to the legislation as “Obamacare-lite. It creates a new entitlement through the refundable tax credits. It allows insurance companies to assess a 30 percent penalty on those who don’t keep continuous coverage for 63 days, which is an individual mandate by another name.”

​He continued, “​We’re 100 percent behind the efforts of Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and the House Freedom Caucus to bring real patient-centered alternatives to replace Obamacare, and we have endorsed Rand Paul and Mark Sanford’s Obamacare Replacement Act, which sets the benchmark for a shift away from Obamacare.”​

It should not come as a surprise that FreedomWorks did not endorse the legislation. Jason Pye told Breitbart News why they did not endorse the legislation through the coalition letter. He said:

We didn’t sign the letter because we have serious concerns about the refundable tax credits, how the bill handles Medicaid expansion, and the coercive continuous coverage language. With the tax credits, Speaker Ryan is proposing getting rid of one entitlement and replacing it with another one. The effective date of the repeal of Medicaid expansion in January 2020 creates a very real possibility of it becoming the new Medicare ‘doc fix.’

What’s more, we’ve found Speaker Ryan’s logic behind not repealing the essential health benefits, which, along with other parts of Obamacare, are driving up premiums, to be incoherent. The bill targets Obamacare’s actuarial value standards and age-rating, why doesn’t it also go after the essential benefits, which reside in the same section of Obamacare, Section 1302, as the actuarial value standards?”


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