Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt show today, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AK) said that Paul Ryan’s claim that the GOP is engaging in a three-phase repeal and replace of Obamacare, is a lie:
“There is no three-phase process. There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin.”
Cotton was responding to a tall tale spun by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Tuesday’s Today show on NBC:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 14, 2017
According to Price, the CBO “looked at only one-third of our plan”:
“What the report looked at was only one-third of our plan. And that’s why you can’t look at this in isolation,” Price said. “The fact of the matter is, with our whole plan, every single American will have access to coverage.”
The three phases are supposed to be:
1) Repeal and replace;
2) Deregulation; and,
3) Legislative: Republican reforms to make health care “even better”
However, Cotton cautioned that the second step will be challenged in court and “perhaps the whims of the most liberal judge in America.” He characterized the third step as “some mythical legislation in the future that is going to garner Democratic support and help us get over 60 votes in the Senate.”
“If we had those Democratic votes, we wouldn’t need three steps. We would just be doing that right now on this legislation altogether. That’s why it’s so important that we get this legislation right, because there is no step three. And step two is not completely under our control.”
And while Cotton was not wholly behind the CBO report’s dire projections, he did admit,
“They’re right that coverage levels will go down in the coming years under the House bill. They’re also right, I’m afraid, that insurance premiums will continue to go up in the near term, for three to four years, before they start perhaps falling in the long term. However, I suspect that the political consequences of those near-term changes means that the long term will never actually arrive.”
Paul Ryan is already under fire for his creative PowerPoint presentation and imaginative interpretation of the CBO’s findings, as though they fully support Ryan’s claims (they do not).
Tom Cotton has poured oil on the fire with his revelation that any talk of a three-phased plan is nothing more than another fantasy in the minds of GOP leaders.
Stay the course, they tell us. Trust us. The rest of our plan will make it better. But it’s all a lie. There is no rest of their plan and nothing is going to make Trumpcare better.