As healthcare reform seems destined for a bipartisan solution in the U.S. Senate, Arkansas’ senior Senator John Boozman said he also expects tax reform to include both sides of the aisle.
Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Sen. Boozman, R-Ark., said the upper chamber appears poised to be a Republican and Democratic effort.
“I just came out of a meeting with Senator Hatch, a number of other people, and the effort will be bipartisan,” he said. “We’re going to do this through the committee process, very open, and try and get Democrat support and just kind of go from there.”
Boozman said tax relief needs to include help for the middle class, stimulate job creation, and boost wages, if possible.
After a protracted debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a GOP-only solution appears unattainable. Boozman, who voted for several GOP versions of repeal pushed unsuccessfully by the Republican majority now says Democratic input and a bipartisan committee approach is way to to go.
“I support going to committee for lots of different reasons. You get a lot of discussion, the American public will understand better what’s going on with the situation that we have. And then, two, if somebody’s got a good idea, I don’t care if they’re a Democrat or Republican, let’s get on with it,” Boozman said. “It’s 16-18% of our economy, really is a big deal. I don’t mind at all taking time. People say, ‘Well, we gotta do something.’ And I say, ‘No, we gotta do the right thing.’”
Boozman also said he opposes President Donald Trump cutting off subsidies to insurance companies that are aiding the ACA insurance market exchanges.
“I think the president needs to go ahead and continue those [subsidy payments] as we work through this. The problem is that it not only affects Medicaid expansion and things like that, but it affects the individual market, so it’s important that we stabilize that,” he said.
I don’t think any of us though, long-term, are for bailing out the insurance companies,” Boozman added. “That’s not something that I want to do. That’s not the answer. We’ve got to go beyond that and really get to the root problem as to what’s driving up cost. But for the next few months certainly, the president, I would advocate that he go ahead and make those payments so that we don’t have significant increases in individual rates.”
Watch Sen. Boozman’s full interview, including his comments on North Korea and raising the debt ceiling, in the video below.