U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas's first district says he has not seen any changes to the American Health Care Act that would alter his opposition and voiced his concerns over government’s role and the Congressional process as reasons for voting no.
“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,” Crawford told Talk Business & Politics Wednesday. The House could vote on the proposal Thursday.
“I think we kind of missed the mark possibly on how we got started on this deal,” said Crawford, who is one of nearly two dozen Republican opponents of the AHCA.
The Jonesboro Republican said he believed that repealing and replacing Obamacare should have begun with rolling back Health and Human Services regulations first, then working the budget reconciliation process more creatively, and finally installing new legislation to alter health insurance markets.
“I think they got that wrong in my opinion. I think they should have taken the administrative action first and then started the reconciliation piece,” he said. Crawford added that he believes the current process is setting up the administration and HHS for a “whole lot of litigation that possibly could have been avoided.”
Crawford also contends that there should have been more consultation with the U.S. Senate in crafting a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.
“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,” he said.
Earlier, Crawford issued a statement outlining additional concerns with the GOP-Speaker Ryan-President Trump plan.
“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.”
Watch Crawford’s TB&P interview below. His full interview, in which he discusses reaction to FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Monday to the House Intelligence Committee and his concerns with North Korea’s aggressive actions, will air Sunday on Talk Business & Politics.
The show airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas; 10 a.m. on KAIT-NBC in Northeast Arkansas; and 10:30 a.m. on KFSM Channel 5 in Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith.