Major Conservative Groups Slam GOP Repeal and Replace Plan

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Photo: The Hill

Conservative groups on Tuesday slammed House GOP’s healthcare proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare which was unveiled less than a day before.

The groups claim that the plan does not live up to the promises that the GOP has made continuously to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Club for Growth called the proposal “RyanCare,” threatening to record names of Republicans who vote for the bill unless it includes massive changes.

Americans for Prosperity — the Koch brothers-backed group — Heritage Action, and FreedomWorks also issued harsh statements which were highly critical of the so-called ‘American Health Care Act,’ the GOP plan.

Two of the groups attacked the plan as being essentially Obamacare with FreedomWorks dubbing it “ObamaCare-Lite” and Americans for Prosperity calling it “ObamaCare 2.0.”

“This is simply not a full repeal of ObamaCare. It falls far short of the promises Republicans made to the American people in four consecutive federal elections,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in a phone interview Tuesday.

“The proposed legislation trades one form of government subsidy for another government subsidy, and doesn’t roll back the mandate of ObamaCare. It’s a poor first attempt.”

Club for Growth announced that it will “key vote” the bill, which means that it will include how congressional members vote on it when calculating grades for them.

“The problems with this bill are not just what’s in it, but also what’s missing: namely, the critical free-market solution of selling health insurance across state lines,” the group’s President David McIntosh said in a statement. “Such an injection of competition would lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in savings, nullifying any argument by Congressional Republicans that this provision cannot be included in the current bill.

“Republicans should be offering a full and immediate repeal of Obamacare’s taxes, regulations, and mandates, an end to the Medicaid expansion, and inclusion of free-market reforms, like interstate competition.”

The statements, which were released within an hour of each other in seemingly coordinated fashion, present a big problem for House Speaker Paul Ryan as the four groups represent powerful conservative interests.

The two authors of the House bill Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) held a lengthy press conference on Tuesday in order to start garnering support for the proposed legislation. Republicans are so divided on various aspects of the bill that even with a 38 seat majority in the House, the bill faces quite an uphill battle — a battle which got even tougher with the outside groups speaking out.

In the Senate, just three defections from Republicans could derail the legislation. Already, two powerful Senators from the conservative wing of the Republican Party, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, have come out against the plan.

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