“We’ve got bigger problems”
(House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows)
It’s good enough for you but not for them.
That’s the message being sent by Republican Members of Congress today after it was revealed that their newest proposed plan to repeal Obamacare creates a special loophole where lawmakers and their staff would not be impacted by the changes.
A new report from Vox revealed that language in the proposal exempts Congress from the biggest change in the proposal, which allows states to “opt-out” of some of Obamacare’s most fundamental rules such as providing mental health coverage and banning the practice of charging higher rates or denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.
And as bad as that looks, the reality might be even more damning as it appears that, once again, most Republicans don’t even know what’s happening with their own bill. Several lawmakers were clearly embarrassed and caught entirely off-guard when asked about the exemption.
“I’ll have to read the language more closely,” Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) admitted in the biggest understatement of the day.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) added in a powerful statement on civic leadership.
However, House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) seemed unfazed by the hypocrisy, declaring, “We’ve got bigger problems.”
The news quickly overshadowed an earlier report that suggested that the new proposal was winning support from Republicans in the far-right Freedom Caucus who had previously killed an earlier healthcare reform bill, causing a hugely embarrassing setback for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs,” the group said in a statement.
However, with the Republican’s approach to healthcare reform already wildly unpopular with the public, including many of those who say they want changes made to Obamacare, it’s unclear if today’s eyesore will once again set back Republican efforts. And according to other reports, the new proposal is still being met with strong resistance from more moderate Republicans and literally every elected Democratic lawmaker in the House and Senate.