Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the private insurance market provisions in the current GOP healthcare proposal “aren’t adequate to bring down premiums.”
He further stated that the current bill must be “fixed” before a vote takes place. Cotton told CNN that the Medicaid expansion is only one part of the solution.
“The Medicaid expansion, I think, needs to be part of Medicaid transformation and that’s what the House bill moved forward. It can be improved, to some degree, but it’s about a 70 percent or 80 percent solution, Jake,” said Cotton, adding, “The bigger problem with this legislation is on the private insurance market. I simply think that it’s not going to work to bring down premiums for working Arkansans and working Americans all across the country.”
Medicaid accountability is another issue that needs addressing, said Cotton, noting that the welfare program is “primarily designed for the indigent elderly, the disabled, the blind, and children. It’s not designed for able-bodied adults. We want to get those people off of Medicaid into a job and into market-based insurance.”
Cotton pointed to the fact that tens of thousands of people in Arkansas leave Medicaid every year. “I want to make sure that the market insurance system is working for them so they can afford health insurance and get off Medicaid,” he said.
According to Cotton, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s healthcare proposal was better than the current version.
“I served with Tom Price in the House of Representatives and consider him a good friend. He had legislation as a congressman that I think is a lot better than the House bill currently under consideration,” said Cotton, who stated earlier this month that “the GOP should start over on an Obamacare repeal and replace plan.”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 19, 2017
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