Republican members of the state congressional delegation aren’t fully backing the House GOP health care bill, though U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy predicted skeptics will “get on board and be supportive.’’
The bill has come under fire from conservatives who’ve dubbed the bill “Obamacare-lite,” but Duffy, R-Wausau, told CNBC Wednesday Republicans will support the bill as they analyze it further and seek improvements.
“You have some on the right who will chirp at us and complain about the product, but in the end, I think we’re pretty close to where we need to be,” he told CNBC.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s withholding judgement on the bill and needs to “see a lot more information.”
Johnson, R-Oshkosh, agreed with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that there’s “a lot of good stuff in this.” He added he doesn’t want to pass up a chance to repeal the ACA but he’d like to see the numbers and how the bill gets scored.
“We can’t rush into something that actually doesn’t work,” he told Hewitt. “So we’ve got to pass it, but we have to pass something that actually works, that repairs the damage done by Obamacare and puts us on a glide path toward a system that really does work using free market principles.”
Gov. Scott Walker told reporters in Madison Wednesday it’s “unconventional” that the House is moving forward with marking up the bill without having a CBO score. But he said the “most important thing” is that the CBO score will happen before Congress votes.
“I personally want to know what the cost is,” Walker said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference Wednesday he expects to have the CBO score next week.
Other GOP members of the state congressional delegation were noncommittal on the bill.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said the Menomonee Falls Republican is still reviewing the bill.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher said in a statement it’s “clear that Obamacare has failed in its core promises,” citing insurers dropping out of the federal marketplace and premiums rising for Healthcare.gov plans. He said he’ll be looking at developments as the bill moves through congressional committees.
“I will be tracking the changes and improvements that are made to the bill while we continue working together to find consensus on an affordable, quality and timely solution to improving health outcomes for Americans,” he said.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Ryan, meanwhile, said Wednesday the bill meets the GOP’s promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. He acknowledged the “inevitable growing pains” for members who have a Republican president for the first time but said the bill is “a conservative wish list.”
“This is what good, conservative health care reform looks like,” he said. “It is bold, and it is long overdue and it is us fulfilling our promises.”
Dems stood in opposition to the Republican plan, expressing concerns that it would raise costs and lead to a loss of health care coverage.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse said he was “deeply disappointed” in his GOP counterparts for backing a health care bill that “lacks transparency, debate, and any information about what it will cost American taxpayers.” Kind is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which began its markup on the bill Wednesday.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said the plan, which she refers to as “TrumpCare,” puts “millions of people at risk of losing health care coverage,” among other things.
“The people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take people’s health care away and I will not support repealing the guaranteed health insurance protections and care that people have today,” the Madison Dem said. “I will not support higher costs, fewer people with health care coverage and more economic insecurity for Wisconsin families.”
Others worried the measure would curb seniors’ and working families’ access to health care.
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee said the replacement plan “destroys the progress achieved during President Obama’s tenure” and would have a “devastating impact” on women, seniors and the working and middle class.
“This bill is a self-inflicted wound that will exacerbate costs, limit protections, and hurt the 70 million Americans who rely on Medicaid, including pregnant women and vulnerable children,” she said.
And in a statement with other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan of the Madison area said the plan would not only defund Planned Parenthood but also “raise health care costs, particularly for older and sicker Americans.”