Rep. Crawford has concerns about healthcare bill

Rep. Crawford has concerns about healthcare bill

(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) - The debate over a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act heads to the U. S. House of Representatives Thursday with one of about two dozen Republicans said to be opposed to the bill, saying that he has major questions about the bill.

"I'm not for it right now, and so far I haven't seen any of the changes that will compel me to change that vote at this point in time," Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, told content partner Talk Business & Politics in an interview set to air Sunday.

Crawford said his concerns over the repeal bill, called the American Health Care Act, centered around policy and how the bill got to Capitol Hill.

On policy, Crawford said the bill missed several key objectives.

"My constituents want health care reform that eliminates failed policy and starts from scratch. The AHCA makes several key changes, but ultimately the bill maintains Obamacare's overall structure and approach, an approach that cements the federal government's role in health insurance. I'm also concerned that the refundable tax credit essentially creates a new entitlement program, and at a point when we're $20 trillion dollars in debt and facing interest rate increases, I don't want to engage in another entitlement program that exacerbates the problem. Ultimately, I'm not convinced that the ACHA addresses the core problems of health care access and rising premiums and deductibles," Crawford said.

On the bill moving through Congress, Crawford said the bill followed an unworkable path.

"I think we kind of missed the mark possibly on how we got started on this deal," Crawford said in the interview.

Crawford said he believes the Trump administration should have gotten rid of federal Health and Human Services regulations first before bringing the bill to Congress as part of a reconciliation bill, Talk Business & Politics reported.

Under congressional rules, a bill can be approved by a simple majority in the House and Senate under reconciliation. Crawford said under the reconciliation process, lawmakers could create a better bill.

"Probably, the better approach from my perspective would have been for the House and the Senate to work in concert, recognizing we're going to initiate this legislation in the House based on what the Senate believes they can pass through reconciliation, then add on to it," Crawford said.

The bill is set for a vote in the House on Thursday.

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