Amid Criticism From Both Sides, Bishop Stands Behind ACA Replacement
March 8, 2017
As most Democrats and even some Republicans expressed opposition Tuesday to the House Republicans’ new plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, Congressman Mike Bishop stood firm in his support of the proposed legislation.
The Rochester Republican was recently appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has partial jurisdiction over the legislation. He called the bill fiscally responsible legislation that would deliver “relief” from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates. Bishop also called on opponents to “stop stirring the pot of human emotion” saying that the “fear of losing health care is something we should not threaten people with.” Bishop further added the assurance that the Obamacare replacement would not “be pulling out the rug from under people” and that the “plan is to ensure that those that have a healthcare plan will still continue to have one moving forward.”
But such support was not universal across the GOP. Several conservative Republicans rejected the bill, including Congressman Justin Amash of Cascade Township, who said the new plan “repackages Obamacare” that “will not reduce health care costs.” Meanwhile, Flint Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee predicted the GOP plan would result in millions of Americans losing access to health care and could threaten more than 100,000 Michigan jobs.
The plan is expected to cover fewer than the 20 million people insured under Obama's overhaul, including many residents of states carried by President Trump in November's election. Republicans said they were chiefly focused on reducing costs and increasing choice for consumers. Republicans said they don't have official coverage estimates yet, but aides from both parties and nonpartisan analysts have said they expect those numbers to be lower. House GOP sources say the 20 million fewer statisitic "comes from a severely flawed CBO report done months ago which doesn’t even tell half the story (and is not about the American Health Care Act). It assumes Congress will do nothing to replace Obamacare after it is repealed, which is baseless. It also does not take into account anything the administration will do to revitalize the individual market." Trump has said his goal is "insurance for everybody," and numerous GOP governors and members of Congress have demanded that people not lose coverage.
Michigan officials were still trying to determine what it could mean for the state’s unique form of Medicaid expansion, which has enrolled more than 650,000 low-income residents. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s office was still analyzing the plan and not prepared to comment. Congressman Bishop promised a full vetting process for the new legislation with “open dialogue and debate throughout the process” so that “everyone knows what is in it before we vote on it.” A link to the full text of the plan is posted below. (JK)