Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stumped Thursday for House Republican leadership’s American Health Care Act at a press event, saying, “There’s a lot to like about it.”
“It repeals a significant number of taxes on the American people, [and] Republicans usually like repealing taxes,” McConnell said, in a jab at conservative lawmakers who are balking at the Obamacare replacement plan.
During the event sponsored in Washington by Politico, the Kentucky Republican said the bill would be the first chance to reform Medicaid as well as a big step toward creating a working private health insurance market.
“We’re trying to get these health care authorities out of Washington down to the state level, where it can be more rationally done,” McConnell said.
McConnell spoke positively of President Donald Trump’s backing of the Obamacare replacement bill.
Trump, he said, “is showing that he supports what we’re trying to do, to repeal and replace Obamacare, and he wants to do everything he can to encourage our members in the House and the Senate.”
In response to The Heritage Foundation, Club for Growth, and other conservative organizations’ coming out against the American Health Care Act, McConnell said “they have every right do it,” and “when you’re trying to do something this big and important, you expect people to weigh in.”
Many conservatives object to the details of the plan, saying it is not true repeal, but McConnell said he is not alarmed by the opposition.
The Senate’s top Republican cited President Ronald Reagan in saying the proposed law is amendable and the process is “completely open”:
There’s going to be plenty of opportunities for senators of both parties to change this bill as it moves along … hopefully, at the end of all of this discussion, we’ll be able to repeal and replace Obamacare, which is our commitment to the American people.
I hope people will remember what Reagan said. If he got 80 percent of what he wanted, he would call it a win and move on, and this bill is full of things that Republicans think are significant for the country.
“Nobody’s going to like everything in this bill; that’s the way legislation is,” McConnell said.