The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as “TrumpCare,” “RyanCare,” and “Obamacare-lite,” among other things. Many conservative groups have come out strongly against the bill, but others have defended it as a repeal and replacement plan for President Obama’s signature health law, also known as Obamacare.
Many conservative groups uphold the bill as necessary tax reform or vital pro-life legislation, while others attack it as a mere tinkering around the edges of Obamacare. Here’s where 8 groups stand on the bill.
1. The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm.
“Barring additional changes, the AHCA keeps the architecture of ObamaCare (Title I regs) in place. Heritage Action will be keyvoting against,” Michael Needham, CEO at Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, posted on Twitter Tuesday.
When an activist group “key votes” a particular act of legislation, it is declaring that it will include any legislator’s vote on this bill on the organization’s scorecard. Such groups then use the “scorecards” to judge which politicians to support or oppose at election time. The AHCA is so important Heritage Action will likely choose to oppose any Republican who votes for it.
2. The Club for Growth.
“The RyanCare bill fails to keep President Trump’s promises of interstate competition and health insurance deregulation,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh declared in a statement Tuesday, launching a half-million dollar ad campaign against congressmen who vote for the AHCA. “Republicans promised a bill that would stop Obamacare’s taxes and mandates, and replace them with free-market reforms that will increase health insurance competition and drive down costs.”
McIntosh argued that “RyanCare fails on those counts and that’s why the Club is letting millions of constituents know that their Representative should reject RyanCare.”
The Club launched a total ad buy of at least $500,000 for ads to run on TV and digital platforms between March 20 and 22. Here is a sample of the ad.
3. Americans for Prosperity.
Americans for Prosperity, which bills itself as “The nation’s larges and most aggressive advocate for healthcare freedom,” announced on Tuesday that it would “key vote” the AHCA.
“Republicans in Congress promised a full repeal of Obamacare, but the current plan falls far short,” AFP’s Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner said. “It leaves intact some of the most harmful aspects of the law, including burdensome regulations that send insurance costs spiking and federal subsidies rebranded as tax credits. We simply cannot support this bill, and commit to standing with champions in the House who also oppose the continuation of Obamacare.”
4. Freedom Partners.
“The AHCA in its current form fails to fully repeal Obamacare and would lead to even higher costs and fewer choices for Americans, declared Freedom Partners Senior Policy Adviser Nathan Nascimento in a press release Tuesday. “We want to work with Congress and the White House on finding solutions that reduce costs and increase access to quality care for all Americans, but that can’t happen without first repealing Obamacare — and this bill does not do that.”
Nascimento concluded, “Absent major changes, the AHCA will fail to deliver relief for Americans, and we’ll stand with principled lawmakers who recognize this and vote against it.”
5. Americans for Tax Reform.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) came out in favor of the bill, arguing that the AHCA cuts taxes by $883 billion.
“The Obamacare repeal bill abolishes 14 taxes that today siphon off nearly one trillion dollars from American Taxpayers each decade,” Grover Norquist, ATR’s president, declared in a statement on Wednesday. “The bill also expands Health Savings Accounts, making health care reform patient-centered rather than top-down command and control. And the reform block grants Medicaid to the states through a per capita allotment — a long time Reagan Republican goal to empower states and reduce federal control.”
6. National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
“Small business optimism has soared since November because small business owners anticipate a change in policies,” NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan declared in a press release. “Driving that optimism is the expectation that Congress will repeal Obamacare, which has been devastating to small businesses. The American Health Care Act would repeal the most punishing elements of Obamacare, including the massive tax increases and mandates that have increased costs, limited choices, and smothered job creation.”
Duggan did agree with other nonprofits which “key voted” the AHCA. “This will be a key vote for NFIB. Our members will pay very close attention,” she declared. “Every member of Congress who cares about small business should vote for this measure.”
7. National Taxpayers Union.
On Wednesday, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) announced its support for the legislation. “NTU urges all Representatives to vote ‘YES’ on H.R. 1628, the ‘American Health Care Act,'” the group declared in a statement.
NTU added that “this reconciliation bill is one critical part of a multi-step process to fully repeal and replace the disastrous ‘Affordable Care Act’ (ACA).” This followed Trump’s declaration that his Obamacare “repeal and replace” plan consists of three steps: the AHCA, executive actions, and another later piece of legislation.
8. National Right to Life Committee.
On Wednesday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) fully endorsed the AHCA, requesting that pro-life activists to “call their Representative today and urge them to vote for H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.”
“This should be a TOP priority as the bill is likely to come up for a vote TOMORROW, Thursday March 23rd,” the statement added.
NRLC backed AHCA because it “would eliminate multiple abortion-subsidizing and abortion-expanding provisions of the Obama Health Care law or the PPACA. The PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion and abortion-expanding regulatory mandates.”
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