Conservative House Members Oppose Legislation to Shift Obamacare Funds to High-Risk Pools

by Katrina Trinko

Conservative House Republicans are unhappy with the Helping Sick Americans Now Act, which is slated for a vote today.

“We’re shifting money from one part of Obamacare we don’t support to another part of Obamacare we don’t support,” Representative Justin Amash (R., Mich.) told reporters today. “That’s a non-starter for me.”

The bill would shift $4 billion from Obamacare to funding insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions who cannot obtain affordable health insurance. Conservative groups are split on the issue: FreedomWorks backs the legislation, while Club for Growth opposes it.

Republican representatives Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), and Trey Radel (Fla.) all plan to vote no tonight, while Raul Labrador (Idaho) remains undecided, although he is leaning toward voting against the legislation.

One key point of contention is the fact that there have been no House votes this year on repealing or replacing Obamacare.

“We voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare” in previous Congresses, Mulvaney remarked. “Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say. We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.”

Huelskamp was similarly frustrated, saying, “our first vote on Obamacare will be an expansion of a failed part of the program that’s come in drastically over cost.” The Kansas congressman also argued that the legislation would almost entirely benefit blue states. 

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