Warren Davidson: Senate version of health care bill needs work

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson said if the Senate’s version of its health care bill is to make it through the House, there will need to be “at least one amendment, maybe more” in order for it to pass. STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson said if the Senate’s version of its health care bill is to make it through the House, there will need to be “at least one amendment, maybe more” in order for it to pass. STAFF FILE PHOTO

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson said if the Senate’s version of its health care bill is to make it through the House, there will need to be “at least one amendment, maybe more” in order for it to pass.

“There’s a lot of concern,” Davidson said before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the vote would be delayed until after the July recess.

MORE: Senate won’t vote on health care bill this week

“As it stands, the Senate bill leaves out a couple of provisions that are in the House bill,” said Davidson, who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District that includes Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami, Preble and a bit of Mercer counties.

Davidson is part of the Republican Study Committee, which is a 176-member conservative caucus in the House. The group drafted a letter to McConnell last week saying for the Senate version to pass the House it needs to:

  • end the extra funding for Medicaid expansion by 2020;
  • keep the Obamacare insurance regulations opt-out waiver for states;
  • repealing Obamacare taxes in an "expeditious manner;" and
  • defunding Planned Parenthood for one year, and prevent tax credits going to insurance plans that cover abortion.

“The current bill in the Senate, it’s pretty similar,” Davidson said. “It’s not radically different than the House bill.”

Explore MORE: Davidson looks back on first year in office

Including those changes would make the Senate bill more closely aligned to the House's health care bill that passed in May. The House bill, known as the American Health Care Act, passed along partisan lines and has been heavily criticized by Democrats.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is calling his colleagues to work on a bipartisan plan to lower costs and improve care.

“This bill was written in secret by insurance CEOs and drug company lobbyists, so this important delay will give the people of Ohio more time to see how it impacts their lives,” said Brown. “But we already know it will hurt working families and raise prices on Ohioans. It hands billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very same drug companies that contributed to the opioid epidemic, while taking away Ohio’s number one tool to fight back. Instead of simply delaying a vote on a bad bill, we should be working together on a new plan to lower costs and make healthcare work better for everyone.”

Explore MORE: Davidson proposes federal agencies move out of DC to ‘drain the swamp’

Davidson said there’s “a very strong desire” to repeal and replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation passed in 2010, because so many people campaigned on such an action.

But Davidson said one bill won’t fix the problems the GOP say are a part of Obamacare.

“We have to really stay committed to solving this problem, not just passing this bill,” he said.