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Young Comments on Postponed Healthcare Vote

“I was going to vote no – I think I made that perfectly clear – because this was not a good bill”


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Washington, D.C. – Following today’s postponement of the American Health Care Act (ACHA) on the House floor, Alaska Congressman Don Young sat down to discuss his views on the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Young, who had previously expressed concerns with the legislation and its direct impact to Alaska, says the ACHA is not the replacement Alaskans have demanded. 

 

Congressman Young Shares Thoughts with Alaskans on Healthcare (Click here to watch) (Click here to download)

Video Message Recap:

"Hello, I’m Congressman Don Young. We had a good day today and I say we. Today, they pulled the healthcare bill off the House floor because they didn’t have the votes. I was going to vote no – think I made that perfectly clear – because this was not a good bill. It didn’t do well for Alaska."

"I’m still all for Obamacare repeal; I think it has to be done. I have a proposal that I’m putting forward to the Leadership – they may accept it, they may not. We’ll have a simple paragraph that will allow us to repeal Obamacare, but the time certain will be 2020. That way we have three and half years to write a good bill with the other side of the aisle. The way it is now, they didn’t participate. We were very frankly guilty of that; they were guilty before."

"I look at today as a victory for Alaska and for Alaskans that have healthcare and have questions about healthcare. For those that are being punished by Obamacare, which is far too many, we still have a chance to go back and do it right. That’s what we’re going to do."

***

"I think the next steps, as I mentioned, we’re going to take a breather – probably work on tax reform, which is good. Then, if they follow my suggestion, they will have two Committees work on this bill, and probably an ad-hoc Committee that will work with all the participants in healthcare. I’m talking about all the doctors and nurses, and the patients, and the insurance companies .They will have a chance to put in what they think is the right thing to do and write legislation and make it work. None of these bills,  Obamacare or the ACHA, never addressed the high costs. It’s always about insurance, being insured, etc., but it’s never about the high cost of medicine."

***

"Let’s listen to the difference in opinion and let’s come back and write this bill. Which is the correct  way to go and we’ll do it."

***

"When I first saw this so-called legislation, pass and repeal, I said we’re not really repealing Obamacare. The premiums would be just as high, which is killing my Alaska workers. We have a lot of Medicaid people that would be damaged through this legislation. And those who are signed up for the exchanges, they of course would be in limbo. I told them, let’s fix this up – especially for a place like Alaska that is large, isolated, and costs are the highest in the nation. They were writing a bill that was very frankly one-sized-fits-all. Again, what I’m promoting is that we repeal Obamacare and then we have three and a half years to write a good bill. If we do that, we’ll serve the people of Alaska."

***

"I’ve been working with the Speaker... I’ve been working with him, trying to help him, telling him what we should be doing. He wasn’t able to deliver on what I thought was necessary for the State of Alaska – the size of Alaska, the high cost of Alaska, the FMAP part of it. He was unable to get that done through the Committee process. That’s why I want this ad-hoc Committee, working with the two major Committees, to write a good piece of legislation. I believe it can be done and it should be done for this nation. Obamacare itself as written, because there was no thought put into it, is really breaking this nation."

***

"I did not support the legislation. I told the Leadership that. I’m very clear about that. As much as I hate Obamacare, I will not support legislation that doesn’t improve things for the constituents that I serve. That’s my main goal."

In an interview with DC-based Alaska reporters –  Liz Ruskin of Alaska Public Radio Network and Erica Martinson of Alaska Dispatch News – Congressman Young further outlined his position on the American Health Care Act and efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Congressman Young Discusses Healthcare Legislation w/ Alaska Media (Click here to watch) (Click here to download)

Interview Recap:

“There will be a pause. We will get to a vote on repealing Obamacare. It’s actually a victory for Alaska and a victory for me. I’ve told them all along this is not the way to do it. We’re doing it very much like the Democrats wrote Obamacare. It didn’t accomplish the goals that I wanted to accomplish and it would have probably hurt lot of my Alaskan people.”

***

“Like I said, I look upon it as a victory. We'll come back and maybe we pass my first proposal. It was a one paragraph – section and chapter – Obamacare is repealed effective 2020. That gives us three and a half years to write a bill and the pressure would be on the Democrats and the Republicans, because they will never get enough votes again to pass an Obamacare bill.”

***

"If we work with the Ways and Means Committee, if we work with the Energy and Commerce Committee – I would have a special ad-hoc group of people who know what they’re talking about on healthcare, including the provider, the consumer, the insurer, the whole gamut. They would be a Commission with those two Committees so they could do the research and make sure that we can solve these problems."

***

"The reason why Obamacare failed was because it wasn’t a bipartisan bill. I’ll never forgive Nancy Pelosi for that – 'read it and find out what’s in it.' 2,400 pages and there was never any consultation with anybody, including those directly involved in healthcare."

***

"When we write this bill, why don’t we address the issue of high cost drugs? Why don’t we address the issues of accessibility? Why don’t we address the issue of over federalization? We have to look at these things and make sure: accessibility, good doctors, and reasonable costs. I think it can be done."

***

"Pooling to me is one of the most crucial things to do. Broadcasters, you all out there would be able to get together – all 5,000 of you or whatever you want to do – and set up a pooling insurance program. You could go to a big insurance company and say this is how many members we’ve got, what kind of deal can you give us? I think you would get a good deal; same thing with drugs."

***

"The reason I want to repeal Obamacare, it’s what’s killing small businesses and hurting families."

***

"Obamacare is not working and what we have to do is take the parts that might work – preexisting conditions, pooling, across state lines – and put them together and look at the high costs of healthcare. We’ll have to write another bill – part of that has to be the responsibility of individuals. There ought to be a reward, if you’re not a drinker, where you get cheaper health insurance… You don’t smoke, you get another break. You keep your weight down, you have another break. It’s like having a good driving record. State Farm gives you a reimbursement for having a good driving record, why not do that with healthcare?"

***

"I let Leadership know, don’t do this and they didn’t listen – so they lost a vote. I can tell you I wasn’t going to vote for it, but that’s after the fact."

***

"I’m pretty much my own self when it comes to these issues. My job is to represent the people of Alaska. I think we did that this week. I worked with the Speaker, don’t get me wrong. The Speaker talked to me quite a bit. But it didn’t come to a point where I could support this bill. And he needed my vote."

 

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