HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Rep. Mo Brooks (R-5th) says he will vote against the AHCA, the Republican healthcare proposal set to come up for a vote on Friday.
Brooks is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of representatives who have been at the center of Republican opposition to the bill. A spokesperson for his office tells us at last check, they did not believe the Republicans had the votes to pass the AHCA.
The congressman’s office released a statement that reads in part:
“As much as I would like to vote with many of my Republican colleagues in Congress and in the White House (most of whom privately tell me they dislike the bad policy in this bill), I will vote against the American Health Care Act because it has more bad policy than any bill I have ever faced. I simply cannot, and will not, vote for bad legislation that hurts so many Americans solely because Washington friends and colleagues ask me to.”
In the release, Brooks refers to the AHCA as Obamacare 2.0 and says he can’t support it for two main reasons:
- The bill increases healthcare costs over the next two years
- The bill is “the largest Republican welfare program in history”
Brooks says in his statement, “As such, ObamaCare 2.0 undermines the work ethic and encourages more and more Americans to live off the hard work of others.”
Brooks rebuffs efforts taken to win votes with new incentives and credits. For example, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-4th) agreed to support the bill once an $85 billion dollar tax credit was included to bring down costs for older Americans making less that $26,000 a year. Without the credit, AHCA was projected by the Congressional Budget Office to increase the health insurance premiums of older, poorer people to roughly 2/3 of their annual income.
Brooks excoriates the new inclusions in his release, “According to the Congressional Budget Office, 2 ObamaCare 2.0 financial projections worsened by $187 billion in just two weeks (from the original version to this week’s) as Congressional politicians scrambled to promise more and more welfare to placate the imagined demands of projected welfare recipients.”
The statement concludes, “Regardless of today’s vote, I have instructed my staff and Legislative Counsel to draft a bill that repeals ObamaCare effective December 31, 2017. The time between bill passage and the effective date gives Congress a deadline by which to pass laws to contain spiraling health care costs. I will introduce that ObamaCare repeal bill as soon as I get it.”