On Thursday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a health care bill (AHCA) that has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and which was still being amended Wednesday night, meaning some members of Congress would vote on a bill they hadn’t read.
While House Speaker Paul Ryan is busy pushing for a vote, it might be instructive to recall what Ryan, who was only a simple House congressman then, said in 2009 about Obamacare: “I don’t think we should pass bills that we haven’t read that we don’t know what they cost.”
Here’s Ryan in 2009 saying that, at roughly the 1:00 mark:
Not only will some members of Congress remain ignorant of the bill’s contents, even before Wednesday’s amendments President Trump was not clear on what was in it. In his interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Trump said:
Yeah, we’re having pre-existing conditions. That’s it. Plus, we’re having the pool, we’re doing a lot of things. And the best thing that is happening with the health care is premiums will come down. We’ll have tremendous competition; you know, we’re getting rid of the border state lines, and we’re going to have tremendous competition.
One problem: selling health insurance across state lines is not a provision of AHCA.
Prospects for the bill’s passage seemed to improve on Wednesday after Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) proposed adding $8 billion in funding to help cover individuals with pre-existing conditions; several Republicans flipped to yes votes.
“I don’t think we should pass bills that we haven’t read that we don’t know what they cost.”
Paul Ryan, circa 2009
Hospital leaders have warned that their states may not be able to afford to continue the Medicaid expansion if enhanced federal funding comes to a crashing halt.