From left and right Young finds fault with ACA replacement bill

first_imgSmall groups in favor of Affordable Care Act protested and marched outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning. Photo by Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media.Republicans in the House have postponed the vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as they try to overcome opposition from members of their own party. As many as two dozen Republican conservatives oppose the bill on grounds that it doesn’t repeal enough of the ACA. A smaller number of Republican moderates say it doesn’t replace enough. Alaska Congressman Don Young is a little bit in both camps.Listen nowA lot of eyes were on the U.S. House today, but, as Republican factions shuttled to the White House to negotiate, it was a day of waiting for most.The bill could still undergo revision, but so far, Congressman Don Young’s position hasn’t changed since he spoke to reporters early this week. Sometimes Young sounded like one of the moderate Republicans, who say they don’t want to see tax credits reduced for their constituents who benefit from the ACA.“Under this proposal on average each Alaskan on the individual market will lose $10,500 in premium support, and that’s just the individual market,” Young said.As Young explained, under the Republican bill, Alaskans would lose more than people in other states, because the bill would make tax credits the same across the country. Under the ACA, Alaskans get bigger credits to offset the sky-high costs.Young also said the replacement bill would shift too many Medicaid costs to Alaska.“It’s important to remember our costs of medicine are higher and our distances are greater, and I say that expansion without the equitable part of the bill won’t fly,” Young said. “I’ll not support the bill if this happens.”In the same conversation, Young turned rhetorically to the right, sounding more like the conservative faction in the House known as the Freedom Caucus, ruing that the bill doesn’t fully repeal the Obama health care law.“And I still think Obamacare will break this nation,” Young said.Here, Young voiced both ends of the Republican spectrum in the same sentence:“If I think that we’ve come together, the delegation has, on fair, equitable treatment to Alaskans, I’ll probably vote for the bill,” Young said, “but if it’s not there, I’ll vote against the bill because it’s really not the repeal of Obamacare as we originally said we were going to do.”In other words, if the bill makes Alaskans the biggest losers, Young says he’s not voting for it and would rather wipe the slate clean with a full repeal.Republican leaders had scheduled it so they could pass their bill on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Instead, C-SPAN used the lull in Congressional action Thursday to air tape of then-President Obama signing his signature health care act, exactly seven years ago.“The bill I’m signing will set in motion reforms that generation of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see,” Obama said then. The footage showed joyous Democrats congratulating themselves for passing a historic bill.It was definitely not the news of the day.last_img read more