Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation won’t be living up to their campaign promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare if they pass the measure being promoted by the House leadership. That’s the charge from experts who say a measure promoted by the House Speaker Paul Ryan would keep the most egregious parts of the controversial health law in place.

In a statement from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, health care expert Chris Jacobs says the House Republicans are failing to “fundamentally change federal control over supply and demand of healthcare:

• This plan fails to repeal most of the costly mandates and insurance regulations driving up premiums and deductibles.
• This plan replaces Obamacare’s subsidy scheme with a new costly federal entitlement in the form of a refundable tax credit.
• This plan leaves significant portions of the flawed and costly Medicaid expansion intact by delaying the freeze on Medicaid enrollment, maintaining the expansion of the program to the able-bodied, and providing a pathway for non-expansion states to accept enhanced federal dollars.”

Perhaps most shocking for many Texans will be that under the GOP plan, tax dollars continue to subsidize states that expanded their Medicaid program under the false promises of ObamaCare. This bailout penalizes taxpayers in states like Texas that specifically refused to buy into the bankrupting system.

“I believe we’re increasing access to affordable care,” U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) told reporters in a Washington, DC, press conference defending the measure he is authoring.

But Brady’s view is not shared by conservative organizations like Heritage Action and Club for Growth. Former U.S. Rep. David McIntosh, who heads the Club for Growth, says the House plan falls way short.

“The Club for Growth stands with conservatives in the Senate and House – including Chairman Mike Lee of the Senate Steering Committee, Chairman Mark Meadows of the House Freedom Caucus, and Chairman Mark Walker of the Republican Study Committee – to urge that the starting point for any repeal be the Obamacare repeal which was passed in Congress in 2015.,” said McIntosh. “Expanding Health Savings Accounts, restoring customer choice to the types of coverage available, creating interstate markets, and letting individuals and small businesses band together to buy coverage, are all key tenets of health care reform that Republicans ran on in 2016, and should fight for today. To do anything less will not lower costs or expand choice, and will leave the Republican party’s majority in jeopardy in 2018.”

In a commentary at Politico, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last week wrote that Republicans “cannot renege on that promise” to fully repeal ObamaCare, adding that they must not “make it worse” through half-measures. Cruz suggest that both chambers should again pass the 2015 legislation that then-President Barack Obama vetoed.

Likewise, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) says he is already hearing from constituents who are upset by the creation of “another entitlement program” through the refundable tax credits.

“We actually send people checks. I guess it’s another way to do the subsidy,” Gohmert said dismissively on Fox News’ Hannity Show. “I’d prefer that we bring the prices down adequately so that more people can get health insurance.”

Gohmert added that the measure “penalizes states that didn’t expand Medicaid.”

Meanwhile, other Texas GOP members of the US House of Representatives have spent the day promoting the law.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”

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