House Majority Whip Scalise: “Failure is not an option”
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) joined Sean Hannity's radio show today to talk about the many conservative wins in the House's American Health Care Act and the importance of living up to the promise President Trump and Congressional Republicans made to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Check out the key moments below:
On the unanimous Republican support AHCA has received in the committees:
"If you look at what we had last week, we had a committee meeting, two committee meetings frankly, with members of all of those conferences--we had Freedom Caucus members, RSC members, and Tuesday group members on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means--every Republican voted to get our bill out of committee and move it forward. Every Democrat, by the way, voted against it, so it’s actually good to be in the middle of that fight in committee for 27 and a half hours where we were fighting liberals on whether or not we should keep Obamacare, whether people should make their choices for themselves on healthcare or not, and you know, which is the right approach and all the Republicans chose to go this route and the Democrats wanted to keep Obamacare."
On getting the bill to the end zone:
"Let’s use a football analogy. You know, if you’re Obamacare, we were pinned up on the one yard line and we had 99 yards to go when we got the House, Senate and the White House, and we said we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. If you look at this bill, where we are right now, everybody could write their own bill; you could write a healthcare bill that you might like better, I could surely write a bill that I would like better, but you got to get 218 votes. We’re probably 80 yards down the field in full agreement and now we’re in the red zone and there's those final items that we’re working through. But if you look at what’s in the bill that every Republican agrees on--look were going to defund Planned Parenthood in this bill, you don’t hear anybody arguing against that. We’re going to zero out the individual mandate, employer mandate; those are two major victories, everybody’s in agreement. We’re actually giving Medicaid back to the states, we’re actually letting governors and states run the Medicaid program. Conservatives have been pleading for that kind of reform for over 50 years."
On the importance of passing the bill:
"I think failure is not an option and that’s why you are seeing a lot of good-faith negotiation, and ultimately we’re very close on the final details. But look, everybody’s got their own way that they would do it but nobody's got the luxury of just having their own bill. I mean, Rand Paul, you’ve heard from him, I don’t know if he has two cosponsors on his bill--you need 51 in the Senate, in the House we need 218 and we’re talking to all those members about the things that will get them there and we're not far from getting a final deal and ultimately we’re going to bring something to the floor."
On the CBO estimate:
"CBO just confirmed we're cutting over $800 billion in taxes, so you’re talking about American workers all across the country that are about that are about to get an $880 billion tax cut in our repeal bill. That’s a really big deal to families who are struggling. If you talk to people about lowering costs, CBO said once this is implemented it’s going to lower cost over 10 percent...
"Sean I point this out yesterday when I read the report, what’s interesting, CBO said 14 million people are going to lose their healthcare benefits and I look at it and realized, that’s not--nobody's losing anything there. It's 14 million people, according to their estimate, because we’re giving you freedom now. You don’t have to be on Obamacare. They're saying 14 million people will choose to get off of Obamacare. Well, that’s like saying the government was telling you that you have to buy a car and it has to be a minivan. If you said, 'you know what, I want a pickup truck,' then CBO’s saying, 'oh well, you just lost your minivan.' Well, you never wanted it!"
On the conservative wins in the bill:
"I think in the end you'll see [conservatives] support it because it encompasses all of the conservative principles that we've run on in terms of giving people their own choice to buy whatever they want in health care, and lower the cost, lowering the deficit, cutting taxes, all of those things that are in the bill, plus defunding Planned Parenthood. So everybody's going to have a choice to make, but everybody's part of this conversation. If there's something that somebody wants to do a little differently, bring the idea, but make sure it’s an idea that doesn't just have you and one other person. You need to be able to bring votes to pass the bill, and frankly a lot of members are bringing good ideas that we are pulling in and have already pulled in to the bill at this point. But Sean, let's go back to the point that some people are saying just do repeal, just bring the bill we put on Obama's desk a year and a half ago. That’s not what President Trump ran on. President Trump--and I think one of the most refreshing things about President Trump is he's a man of his word. He said repeal and replace, and I think that it’s very important that we follow through on that promise because it’s not just about getting rid of Obamacare, it's putting in place a better system where you can make choices, and you can actually pay less for a healthcare plan that you want.
"At the end of the day, if you campaigned on being for repeal and replace and standing with Donald Trump on doing this and following through on that promise, this bill does it.
"I mean, if you look, this is the accumulation of years of work. A lot of bills that have passed individually, bolstering Health Savings Accounts. Sean, you know that that will help lower costs and give families more control of their health care decision; that’s in this bill. Medicaid block granting--decades Republicans have been talking about doing it, we finally put it in this bill and it’s going to pass.
"...in the House we have a strong majority of members that want to do this and we’re going to have a majority, 218 that ultimate support the repeal and replace elements that are in this bill and that President Trump supports.
"And President Trump has been great about working with us too because he wants this bill on his desk and we want him to sign it."
Click here to listen to the full interview.