Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, slammed Congress for failing to enact conservative healthcare reforms as well as for exploding the deficit in the spending bill.
Sen. Cassidy sounded the alarm over the $1.4 trillion spending bill after it passed through the House in December over conservatives’ opposition.
In his interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Cassidy compared Democrats’ uncontrollable desire to impeach President Donald Trump to a “puppy urinating on the floor.”
The spending package bill includes provisions that would raise the required age to purchase tobacco to 21 and repeal three Obamacare taxes: the health insurance tax, the medical device tax, and the “Cadillac tax” on high-end insurance plans.
Sen. Cassidy charged that Republicans gave up their leverage by agreeing to repeal these healthcare taxes, which many Democrats wanted, without pushing their own healthcare reforms.
The Louisiana conservative said, “The greatest lie of this century will now be that Obamacare will not increase the deficit one dime. There were taxes agreed to, for example, by the insurance companies, the health insurance tax, that as long as Obamacare was forced on the American people, they would pay the tax. Now, they don’t want to pay the tax, and we just eliminated it that tax. The Cadillac tax, economists agree that it will pull down premiums, would moderate growth and spending, was supposed to raise $350 billion over ten years. We just repealed it. We just repealed it without any reforms. The Heritage Foundation, Brian Blase with the Galen Institute, we and others have said, wait a second we don’t like the Cadillac Tax, but maybe we could do this and get reforms so that we could benefit from driving down the healthcare costs, etc. No reform, the only thing that was done was that tax was eliminated.”
Congressional appropriators released the spending bill on Monday, and Congress’s upper chamber will vote on the legislation Thursday, giving lawmakers only days to pour through the bill’s thousands of pages.
“We have not debated this; we have not had a committee hearing on this, we have not considered it. I was the first person to speak on the spending bill tonight, it was given to us on Monday, and we’ll vote on it Thursday. And I think we have a couple of hours of debate, we just added to our deficit, eliminated payments for Obamacare, roughly $380 billion and we’re not even going to discuss it,” Sen. Cassidy said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also slammed the Senate spending bill Wednesday night, noting that “takes care of insurance companies” and “lobbyists” by eliminating the healthcare taxes without any substantial conservative healthcare reform.
Sen. Cassidy said lawmakers could have struck a deal to create a reinsurance pool using the health insurance tax, which he contended could lower premiums as much as 20 percent.
“The one thing that you could have done with the health insurance tax is that you could have used it to create a reinsurance pool. That is estimated to have decreased premiums by ten to 20 percent,” Sen. Cassidy said.
Reinsurance has lowered health insurance premiums across the nation.
Montana state auditor and Republican congressional candidate Matt Rosendale lowered the state’s health insurance premiums between eight to 14 percent by instituting a reinsurance pool through a federal government waiver.
Sen. Cassidy blamed congressional leaders for pushing a spending bill that hikes spending and forcing lawmakers to vote on the legislation at the end of the year.
“I don’t see how any fiscal conservative can vote for this piece of legislation it so fiscally irresponsible it’s incredible,” he said.
“I think what’s to blame is a Congress that waits until the end of the year on a spending bill and then shoves it through, without the debate that you would expect to have,” Sen. Cassidy added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.