Tipton: I would have voted ‘no’ on American Health Care Act

Rep. Scott Tipton



Had a vote on the American Health Care Act gone forward Friday, he would have cast his against it, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.

The measure contained several elements he favored, but it lacked a Congressional Budget Office score that would have reassured constituents that their premiums would be brought under control, Tipton said shortly after Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the vote.

Tipton hadn’t taken a position in the days and hours leading up to the decision to pull the bill, but had stressed that he wanted to make coverage more affordable.

He couldn’t assure one constituent in particular — a Ridgway woman whose premium costs more than her mortgage — that the costs would be corralled, he said.

Congress can’t simply walk away, though, Tipton said, because problems persist under the Affordable Care Act.

“Here we have too few providers, double-digit rate increases, senior citizens can’t find a doctor,” Tipton said. “Those problems have not gone away. We do have an obligation to address this.”

The first Congressional Budget Office score said that as many as 24 million would have lost insurance coverage and there was no CBO score on the version that was to get a vote.

It would have been better to conduct a vote with a second CBO score, he said.

Some ideas can go forward, such as allowing individuals to pursue coverage through associations, and Tom Price, the Georgia physician who is now secretary of Health and Human Services, has broad leeway to administer the ACA, Tipton noted.

“We’ll see what some of the ideas are going forward,” he said.


COMMENTS

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Had you and your colleagues done your job over the past seven years, from both sides of the aisle, COMPROMISE could be reached and a system in place that works!  There are many smart people out there and there is NO excuse for not tweaking the ACA and finding what will work for ALL citizens!  Do your job!

As Gary Harmon reported on Saturday (“Tipton:  I would have voted
‘no’ on measure”) – and if 3rd C.D. Congressman Scott Tipton can be believed (which is doubtful) – Tipton coyly claims that he would have voted against the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) had it been brought up for a vote on Friday.

However, Tipton was not among the 51 declared/potential Republican
“no” votes named by the Washington Post on Friday morning, and he deserves little credit for remaining cynically silent after voting 60+ times to “repeal/replace” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and only now conveniently claiming that he would have opposed perhaps the worst piece of legislation ever introduced in the House – after it had already failed.

By all accounts, the AHCA was so bad that the Republican leadership added $100 billion in “sweeteners” to entice recalcitrant Republicans to vote for it – but they didn’t.  Thus, if Tipton really “wants to make coverage more affordable”, he should support measures to spend some of that money to remedy the imperfections of the ACA.

First, to re-invigorate competition in the insurance marketplace, Congress should restore and even extend funding for the “risk corridors” that the ACA promised health insurers as an inducement to assume the actuarial uncertainties of disregarding “pre-existing conditions”.

As reported by the New York Times, Republicans quietly but effectively sabotaged the ACA’s marketplaces beginning in 2014 by constraining the financial mechanism by which health insurers were protected from excessive losses during its first three years.  https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/10/us/politics/marco-rubio-obamacare-affordable-care-act.html.  As of December 2016, insurers were still owed some $8 billion to cover losses on the exchanges. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161205/NEWS/161129937.

Second, Tipton should face the fact that the highly exaggerated but widely publicized premium increases actually affect only about 3% of insured Americans – because about 84% of exchange enrollees will receive increased subsidies to offset those increases.  http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheck/fact-check-trump’s-misleading-claims-on-the-health-bill-failure/ar-BByIuUZ?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp.

Meanwhile, ample funds should remain from the $100 billion to help the “woman in Ridgeway” and others similarly situated.

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