I promised the people of the 36th District of Texas that I would repeal Obamacare and replace it with conservative solutions. President Donald J. Trump was elected on this same platform. With the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House on May 4, 2017, we took an important first step in fulfilling that promise.
After years of speeches, debates, elections and “show votes'' that we knew would be vetoed or go nowhere in the Senate, this vote was the real deal.
This was perhaps the most important and consequential domestic policy legislation any of us will ever see.
To begin with, it serves as the largest entitlement reform of the Medicaid program in the program's history and eliminates the individual and employer mandate penalties. It also stops mandatory spending on large abortion businesses, such as Planned Parenthood, for one year.
It isn't the exact bill I would have written, but I am proud to say that I voted YES on the AHCA. While Republicans alone provided the votes to pass this bill, it was still the product of finding common ground to provide the American people with relief from Obamacare.
Members of our conference from every ideological stripe and every type of district came together to improve the bill and to secure its passage.
While we could certainly write a better one that allows for insurance sales across state lines, gives consumers better choices about the plans and benefits they want, and tears down the anti-trust exemption for insurers – the absurd tightrope we must walk to comply with the Senate's reconciliation rules has forced us to write this bill with one hand tied behind our back.
Like their colleagues here, Senate Democrats have made clear that preserving the failed experiment of Obamacare matters more than anything else, and that they would launch a fake, phony filibuster if anything came to the Senate that did not comply with the Senate procedure known as the ``Byrd Rule.''
I was extremely pleased to be part of House passage of AHCA and now look to the Senate to move the road blocks that continue to threaten our conservative agenda.