Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) called the GOP’s new healthcare bill “pure politics” during an interview on Boston Public Radio today.
Capuano criticized his Republican colleagues and their new bill, saying they focused too heavily on publicly denouncing the ACA instead of examining more carefully its pros and cons.
“It’s pure politics at it’s basest form. For the last eight years now, they’ve been beating up Obamacare as if it’s just an empty suit, and they didn’t realize that during that time, more and more people from all over the country have been getting health insurance for the first time in their lives,” he said. “I don’t think they heard that part of the discussion because the last several years has been nothing but screaming and political one-liners about Obamacare.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report Monday stating 24 million people would lose coverage if the government replaces the Affordable Care Act with the Republican bill, the American Health Care Act.
The Trump administration denounced the CBO’s report, saying it did not take into account other steps in the process of repealing and replacing the ACA.
In light of this criticism by the Trump camp, Capuano made a point of clarifying the neutrality of the CBO.
“[Republicans] appointed the head of the agency,” said Capuano. “They are considered a neutral nonpartisan agency by everybody. We can disagree with them but no one thinks they put their thumb on the scale.”
Capuano also said moderate Republicans in the House are in a difficult spot after the release of the CBO’s report, as they’re being asked to “vote with the team on a very important bill, and for a bill that they know is first of all, bad, and second of all, going nowhere in the senate.”
FiveThirtyEight says there are plausibly 16 House Republicans who will vote no. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) have all voiced their oppositions.
Capuano said Democrats proposed more than 150 amendments to the American Health Care Act during two committee hearings last week:
“Not a single one of them was accepted,” he said, “and I think that says more about Republicans than it does about Democrats.”
Congressman Michael Capuano is a Democrat, representing the 7th district. He joins us twice a month. You can keep up with him at capuano.house.gov. To listen to his interview in its entirety, click on the audio link above