PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Despite the collapse earlier this week of the Senate Republican effort to pass health care reform legislation after failing to muster enough support among their own ranks to pass a bill, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey continues to work at negotiating a compromise that can get to 50 votes.
Toomey, during an appearance on The Rich Zeoli Show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, stated the bill they constructed kept most of the campaign promises they made to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“It repeals the individual mandate, which is blatantly unconstitutional for the federal government to force individuals to buy a product, whether they like it or not. It repeals the business mandates that force business to provide insurance. There’s no free lunch. It just costs us jobs. It costs workers income. So, that’s not a good policy. We repeal that policy. We repeal most of the taxes of Obamacare…most of them are repealed. We stabilize the individual markets. We give consumers choice in the individual healthcare markets and we put Medicaid on a sustainable path for the first time since the program was launched.”
Responding to question of why the Republicans does not begin to faze down the federal government’s obligations to Medicaid until four years from now, he shifted blame to Governors of states involved in the process, saying they asked for more time.
“The reason is because Governors screamed and complained that they can’t manage this and it’s too sudden, so we said, ok, we’ll give you plenty of time to plan for this. We’ll give you plenty of time for this transition. It was all done as a way to accommodate the states that have taken the Medicaid expansion and to ease that transition. Yeah, you could argue that it should happen much more suddenly than gradually over seven years. That’s part of why I think this is extremely reasonable on the part of the federal government.”
Toomey admitted it is possible whatever compromises reached by Republicans could be undone if they lose control of Congress in the next few election cycles, but he feels they have to take a shot.
“It’s a serious risk. It’s a completely legitimate concern. I totally accept that concern, but I’ve got to try to find a way that we can cobble together 50 votes. Anything short of that transition almost certainly would not have a chance. We’re not yet there with the moderates who want to spend more money on Medicaid even with this very gradual and soft transition. That’s the problem.”