INDIANAPOLIS – While Senate Republicans have managed to find a path forward on their own health care bill, Congressmen Messer and Rokita haven’t changed their position an inch: they’re still staunchly behind the bill House Republicans passed.
It’s still unclear what the Senate’s health care endgame will be following this afternoon’s Motion to Proceed vote, but it’s clear both Congressmen are uninterested in a bill that will fix the issues in the legislation the House passed in May. Instead, both men have once again gone on the record this week to make clear that the Senate’s bill ought to ultimately look like the lower chamber’s.
On an interview with C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” earlier this week, Congressman Messer implored the Senate to pass a companion bill to the House’s, saying that “we sent a bill to the Senate… and so far we’ve gotten crickets.” He followed that up by saying that the bill the House passed contained “the Obamacare reforms that we promised.” Congressman Rokita, for his part, told WIBC that the House “hit the sweet spot” with its bill, and that Senate Republicans’ decision to write their own bill instead of taking up the House’s will create challenges for themselves.
The House bill that Congressman Messer and Rokita are still advocating for is the same bill that President Trump famously called “mean.” It would cause premiums to soar by over $1,000 annually on average for Hoosiers and institute an age tax on older Americans that would allow insurers to charge them five time more than younger enrollees. Additionally, it guts protections for pre-existing conditions and strips roughly 23 million Americans of health care over the next ten years.
“While the Senate drags itself, kicking and screaming, towards a health care overhaul, Congressmen Messer and Rokita are doubling down on their ‘mean’ health care bill,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “The sweetspot for a health care bill shouldn’t be one that increases premiums by thousands of dollars, or takes health care away from 23 million Americans. Republicans ought to start over and work with Democrats to pass a bill that strengthens our health care system instead of gutting it.”