President Trump has finally unveiled his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, but he's getting a surprising amount of pushback from his fellow Republicans. The bill would retain many components of the Affordable Care Act while removing many of its benefits for the poorest Americans, and this has many Republicans outraged for all sorts of reasons. To get an idea of why the bill is facing so much resistance, check out why these 14 Republicans voting against Trumpcare can't bring themselves to support the legislation.
Health care policy and congressional politics can both be dizzyingly complex, but the crux of the dilemma is this: Some Republicans think the bill is too liberal, while others think it's too conservative. The points of contention are largely the tax credits the bill offers and its approach toward Medicaid; moderate Republicans worry the bill will leave too many Americans uninsured, while staunch conservatives — including many in the House Freedom Caucus — think it's nothing more than another big government entitlement. As such, it's not at all clear that it will be able to pass both chambers.
So far, a lot of Republicans have said they'll vote against the bill. Here's a list of some of them, but take it with a grain of salt. For one, plenty of lawmakers — such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Mo Brooks — have suggested that they'll vote against the bill, but haven't been firm enough in their comments to count them as a definite no. Likewise, many of the folks on this list have said that they'd vote against the bill in its current form, but that they'd be open to voting for a different version.
Nevertheless, if you want to get an idea of why even some in the GOP don't like this bill, read on.
Sen. Rand Paul
Th House leadership plan is Obamacare Lite. It will not pass. Conservarives are not going to take it. #FullRepeal— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 7, 2017
The Most Interesting Man in Politics went on a tweetstorm against Trumpcare, calling it "Obamacare Lite" and criticizing it for maintaining the Affordable Care Act's taxes and subsidies, among other things. He said that it will not pass in its current form and introduced a "clean" repeal bill as an alternative.
Sen. Susan Collins
The moderate Maine Republican told the Portland Press-Herald that Trumpcare is "not a bill I could support in its current form,” explaining that it "doesn’t come close to achieving the goal of allowing low-income seniors to purchase health insurance."
Rep. Justin Amash
New plan does not repeal/replace; it repackages Obamacare. It's a political plan that signals retreat and will not reduce health care costs.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 7, 2017
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ros-Lehtinen says that she'll vote against the bill because it doesn't provide health insurance to enough of her constituents. Her district in Florida has more Obamacare enrollees than any other in the country.
Rep. Mark Sanford
The former governor of South Carolina voted against the bill in the House Budget Committee, and told CNN that he can't support the legislation "in its current form."
Rep. Darrell Issa
“I’m not prepared to vote for it as it is right now," Issa said of the bill in an interview with Fox News. He said that this is "not because of a specific ‘this is unacceptable,’ but because I think we can do better."
Rep. Dave Brat
Brat told NPR that he "can't support" the bill because it's too similar to Obamacare, and voted against it in committee.
Rep. Thomas Massie
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Massie called the bill a "stinking pile of garbage," and predicted that it will fail.
Rep. Gary Palmer
We have one opportunity to answer the healthcare crisis the American people are facing. Read my full statement here: https://t.co/chUd8m1ii4— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) March 16, 2017
Palmer, who also voted against the bill in the House Budget Committee, said in a statement that the legislation's "promises of changes in the future are insufficient." He didn't say specifically what he meant; however, the bill allows Obamacare's Medicaid expansion to continue until 2020, and Palmer introduced a motion in committee to shrink Medicaid eligibility, so that may be what he was referring to.
Rep. Tom Garrett
Garrett told CNN that he's a "firm no" on the bill, calling it a "massive entitlement program."
Rep. Mark Meadows
Ted Cruz and Mark Meadows have a WSJ op-ed proposing to essentially rip up the House health bill and start over.https://t.co/y43MOjYvrS— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 16, 2017
Meadows opposes the bill on similar grounds as Garrett, telling CNN that it's essentially "a new entitlement program and a new tax increase."
Rep. Mark Walker
Rep. Mark Walker, House GOP Study Cmte Chair, says he'd vote against the draft Obamacare replacement bill: "There are serious problems..." pic.twitter.com/MGZkGMWRZP— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 27, 2017
Walker called the bill "a new health insurance entitlement with a Republican stamp on it," and says that he "cannot vote for the bill."
Rep. Ted Yoho
Yoho told PBS that he "could not support the bill as it is right now" — although he predicted that it will be amended to satisfy his criteria. He believes that the law's tax credits are too generous, and that it doesn't do enough to cut Medicaid.
Rep. Rob Wittman
.@RobWittman (R-Va.) says health care bill will not "do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians..."— Jenna Portnoy (@jennaportnoy) March 13, 2017
Wittman said in a statement that he "must oppose the bill," because it "is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand." He didn't elaborate, however.
This bill still has a long way to go before it'll come up for a vote, but the fact that it's drawn this much Republican criticism so early in the process isn't a good sign for its prospects.