Excerpt From: Salisbury Post. Written By: Josh Bergeron.
The Republican replacement for Obamacare represents the kind of reforms Rep. Richard Hudson says he’s dreamed about his entire adult life.
Hudson, a Republican who represents much of Rowan County, spoke in an interview with the Salisbury Post about his support for the American Health Care Act and a recent report about the financial and human costs of the bill. Introduced by Republicans, the AHCA would replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. The recent report from the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the GOP version of health care would reduce the federal deficit but that tens of millions more people would be uninsured.
On Tuesday, Hudson said the newly introduced health care bill shows that Republicans are keeping a promise to repeal and replace the ACA.
“I promised when I ran for re-election, actually I promised it on all of my campaigns, that I would do what I could to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market-based system that puts individuals in charge,” he said. “We’re keeping that promise, but we’re also doing it in a responsible way so that people don’t fall through the cracks. We want this to work for all Americans and do it the right way.”
Hudson, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, said he is hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can work together “to get it right.”
Some provisions of the American Health Care Act include: repealing a mandate that individuals maintain coverage; eliminating tax penalties for people who don’t have health insurance; allowing insurance companies to charge higher premiums for people who don’t maintain coverage; replacing subsidies for health care with tax credits; and restructuring Medicaid so that states receive specified amounts of money each year. It keeps some provisions of the current law, such as allowing people to stay on their parents insurance plans until the age of 26.
The bill has received vocal opposition from Democrats and conservative Republicans shortly after its introduction. Opponents included Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican who represents the state’s 11th Congressional District and chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Asked about opposition from conservatives, Hudson focused on financial findings in the Congressional Budget Office report, which estimated the GOP bill would shave $337 billion off the federal deficit from 2017 to 2026.
The report also projects an $883 billion reduction in revenue because of tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy. For example, one tax set to be repealed targets investment income of certain high-income individuals, estates and trusts.
“I think if you’re a true conservative, what you want to do is take power away from the federal government and give it to individuals and give it to states, which is what we do,” Hudson said. “You know, we’ve got an $883 billion tax cut. … You talk about saving $880 billion; that’s a huge entitlement reform that all conservatives can rally around.”