Sean Davis, co-founder of "The Federalist," stopped by "The Buck Sexton Show" Tuesday to comment on the ongoing fight within the Republican Party over the House GOP's proposed health care bill, the American Health Care Act, to replace Obamacare. The bill has come under additional scrutiny since the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would result in 24 million fewer Americans having health insurance by 2026.
Former Speaker of the House and one-time presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich slammed the CBO over the report, pointing out that many of the supposedly nonpartisan federal agency's predictions regarding the impact of Obamacare were wildly incorrect and calling for the CBO to be disbanded.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), champion of the AHCA, tried to spin the CBO report as positive, claiming the loss of coverage will be due to the repeal of the current individual mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Given the option to not purchase coverage, Ryan said, many will choose not to do so, leading to fewer total insured citizens.
Davis told Sexton that House Republicans should have focused on passing their basic Obamacare repeal bill — which they passed several times during the Obama administration — so that the Senate can get to work crafting legislation that can pass the Senate, where the bill will face a much tougher fight.
"The way this should've happened would've been the House just calling up and passing the bill that it passed, you know, a bajillion times before in previous Congresses with the same stuff they've been promising to do," Davis opines. "It's an easy vote. You move it to the Senate. That's where the actual heavy lifting has to happen, in the Senate. Passing something in the House should've been easy. You have more than enough votes. It's getting 51 votes in the Senate that's the trick."
Davis then described the strategy House Republicans should've adopted instead:
So Ryan and Company should've just passed the easiest bill they could pass just to get to conference, because all the big negotiation stuff is going to happen in conference. Let the Senate do what it needs to do to get to conference, and then you do all the, like, really important, tough negotiation. Instead, Republican leadership in the House have apparently decided they're going to do all of that up front, pretending as though whatever they pass now out of the House will be the final bill that's passed and signed by Trump. It just makes no — none of it makes any sense to me. The whole thing is just a gigantic mess that didn't need to be that way.