Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana vowed to join other conservatives in launching a floor fight to dramatically revise the House Republican leadership health care bill that he insists does not fully scrap the 2010 health law known as Obamacare.
In an interview Tuesday on Fox and Friends, Jordan said he and other conservative allies would offer a series of amendments on the House floor to nudge the House leadership in a more market-oriented direction. But if Jordan and his allies succeed in shifting the bill in a more conservative route, it could cripple efforts to win the backing of Senate moderates.
Although Jordan never flatly said he would vote against the GOP leadership bill without his amendments, he made clear that “a bunch of us conservatives in the House don’t like this legislation. It’s got problems.”
The bill has the backing of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and President Donald Trump. But if Jordan and roughly 40 other House GOP conservatives refuse to support the Ryan measure, they can kill the bill on the House floor, which would be a stunning defeat for Ryan. All 193 House Democrats are expected to vote against the bill, meaning to pass the bill Ryan can only lose a handful of the 237 Republicans in the House.
“It will come to the floor for a vote up or down for the full House next week,” Jordan said. “That’s the plan. That’s where we would like to offer the amendments that we’re working on that we think will make this bill consistent with what we told the voters we were going to accomplish.
“Remember this bill doesn’t repeal Obamacare,” Jordan said of the Ryan measure. “This bill doesn’t unite Republicans. This bill doesn’t bring down the cost of premiums.”
“So that’s what we’re focused on bringing back affordable insurance for working class and middle class families. This bill doesn’t accomplish that. We want to work to make sure it does.”
Although Jordan claimed the Ryan bill would not “bring down” the cost of premiums for individual policies, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported Monday that premiums in the individual marketplace would decline by as much as 10 percent between 2020 and 2026.
The CBO also projects that under the Ryan bill as many as 24 million fewer Americans will be without health insurance. A more conservative measure backed by Jordan could likely lead to even more people without coverage.
The law, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama, expanded health insurance through federally subsidized individual insurance policies sold to middle-income people through federal and state marketplaces, and expanding Medicaid eligibility to allow families of four earning as much as $34,000 a year to qualify.
Gov. John Kasich relied on the additional Medicaid dollars to extend coverage to 700,000 low-income people in Ohio. Established in 1965, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program which provides health coverage to low-income people.
But Jordan and other conservatives object to Ryan’s plan to replace the federal subsidies in the individual marketplace with refundable tax credits of as much as $4,000 a year. While Jordan supports the use of tax credits, he opposes offering tax credits if the person does not have any tax liability.
Jordan also opposes Ryan’s plan to continue Medicaid expansion until 2020.
Jordan had been scheduled to meet with Trump Tuesday at the White House, but the meeting was cancelled because of the heavy snow storm that hit the nation’s capital.
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