Missouri’s congresswoman had some homework over the weekend reading the Republican Health Care bill to replace Obamacare. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-4th, says she will not decide on the bill until she learns more and considers incoming amendments.
“We’re going to see what changes are made and believe there will be further amendments, I’m just kind of watching, observing and giving input into the process at this point,” Hartzler told Missourinet Friday.
The 150-page legislation is being fast-tracked through committees to arrive on the House floor in less than two weeks, but that momentum could be hampered when financial details from the Congressional Budget Office are released this week.
“I don’t feel comfortable coming out for it or against it until I know what the cost is going to be and what the implications to Missouri are.”
She says Congress needs to move quickly, but this bill is just part of the process to overturn the current healthcare laws and regulations.
Hartzler says much of the ACA’s dismantling will be in the hands of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, because of how Obamacare was set up.
“There’s, I believe, over 1600 references to ‘the secretary shall develop rules’ or ‘the secretary shall develop a program’ so there was a lot of discretion given to the Secretary of HHS,” Hartzler said.
Hartzler said she hears from constituents worried about losing health care coverage. Her reassurance:
“It’s very important to me and to others that we do this in a way that does not pull the rug out from under anybody’s feet and that there is affordable, accessible insurance for everyone, And it may look like in a different form, but we are taking steps in this bill to make sure people have that access,” she says.
She says after passage of a replacement bill and further deregulation at HHS, the final step in the Republican’s plan would be a separate bill to repeal the rest of the ACA.