The Congressional Budget Office scoring of the Republican Party’s plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act left many individuals disheartened — including a major proponent of the bill itself.
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, was initially optimistic about the bill when news of the CBO score came out. But when reporters started asking him questions about the the bill causing significant hardships for people with preexisting conditions, Meadows’s optimism turned into concern.
“That’s not what I read,” Meadows reportedly said, and requested to read the CBO report that media had available. His response to the report, after reading it in front of reporters, was remarkably candid.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) May 25, 2017
Meadows was visibly agitated, holding back tears as he told reporters, “I lost my sister to breast cancer. I lost my dad to lung cancer. If anybody is sensitive to preexisting conditions, it’s me.”
He added that if preexisting conditions couldn’t be adequately addressed in the new bill, “then we will have failed.”
The CBO scoring of the Republicans’ proposed health bill (the American Health Care Act) demonstrates that an estimated 23 million additional Americans would be uninsured over the next ten years if it were enacted. The report also explained that the bill, which would allow states to seek waivers to amend how they protect people with preexisting conditions, would put those individuals in harm’s way.
“[P]eople who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all,” the CBO report stated.
The House of Representatives passed the Republican bill earlier this month, rushing it through before a proper CBO scoring could be made. A large celebration of Republicans congregated on the White House lawn shortly after, which included Rep. Meadows.