WASHINGTON, D.C.— Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) joined Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday and emphasized the urgent need to provide relief to the millions of Americans suffering under the collapse of Obamacare. Scalise noted the importance of living up to the promises of President Trump and Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the failed law with conservative patient-centered reforms that lower costs, taxes, and the deficit.
Check out the key moments below:
On the results shown in the CBO estimate:
“When we look at the CBO score, for all they might say about it, they confirm that it lowers premiums for families, it reduces the deficit, it cuts taxes over 800 billion, so it achieves the basic things we want to achieve in health care, which is giving people freedoms first, so that they can choose the plan they want. So what CBO says, that means that 14 million would choose to abandon Obamacare because it’s so failed. That’s not lost coverage, that’s health care freedom. But ultimately, you put those choices back in the hands of families.”
“The main approach we have is to get the government mandates out of healthcare. That’s what’s destroying health care. And there are companies–insurance companies aren’t writing policies anymore…We need to open up marketplace where everybody wants to come and offer you policies at whatever price you want to pay for whatever benefits you want.”
On the conservative wins in the House plan:
“Again, this is the approach that many conservatives have been wanting for a long time. Medicaid reform is in the bill, defunding Planned Parenthood, I’m glad we no longer are talking about whether or not we should defund Planned Parenthood, we’ve resolved it, that is in our bill and it’s been done.”
“Hugh this is a big point that’s being lost, under our bill premiums actually start going down. One of the reasons you start seeing a lot of lower-income people get out of the marketplace altogether is because they can’t afford Obamacare even with all of the tax benefits, you know the exchange subsidies that are out there, and then Medicaid is a broken system, so we’re giving full flexibility to governors on Medicaid; they can be much more creative than Washington. Under our bill they get to go and create a better Medicaid system that works for each state individually. Then there’s going to be additional help given to low-income people through a tax credit where they can go buy whatever they want. But that doesn’t lower cost, that’s what’s driving people away right now, it’s the high cost and the high deductibles in health care; we eliminate that in our bill…The score came out and showed we save over $337 billion that we reduce from the deficit. That’s a massive savings and a lot of that you get by capping and reforming Medicaid. It’s not just about capping it, it’s about giving flexibility so you can actually get better health outcomes with less money.”
On the need to act now:
“I would encourage my Senate colleagues–first of all, some of them are saying we’re moving too fast. I would say we would say we waited seven years to finally move a bill that guts Obamacare and replaces it. Let’s actually keep this process moving, let them go and build coalitions for their good ideas. I have not seen any legislative text from any of those members so you know ultimately an idea is nice, but we actually need legislative text.”
“Look if Senator Cotton’s got an idea that can attract 50 more Senators, I encourage him to go write something down. I mean, I’ve never seen a page of legislative text from him, or two or three more senators agreeing with him. You need 50 in the Senate to get your great idea put into the bill, and I encourage him to spend his time working on that bill and building a coalition instead of telling the House to slow down. American families have not been telling me that they want to wait and keep Obamacare in place longer. They’re saying, “We’ve waited long enough, give us relief from Obamacare.” And even according to the CBO, 14 million people, if given the choice, would get off of Obamacare as soon as we get this bill to the President’s desk and he signs it.”
On President Trump’s support of the bill:
“I spoke to the President again [Tuesday], he’s very engaged in this. He’s talking to all of our members, I mean he’s talking to different factions within our conference. And he recognizes, you know, that there is a delicate balance, health care is very complicated for a reason. There’s a reason Republicans before Obamacare were never able to go and reform the health care system. It’s complicated. But we’re working through all of those issues right now. None of them are easy, but every one of them is important. The main objective needs to be: give freedom back to families, lower costs for families, and if you can do tax reduction, Medicaid reform, and protect life all at the same time, that’s even better.”
Click here to listen to the full interview.