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‘A work in progress:’ Comstock not sold on Obamacare replacement bill

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.-10th) isn't ready to take a firm position on her party's proposed Obamacare replacement just yet.

A spokesman for Comstock on Tuesday called the proposed American Health Care Act “a work in progress.”

The spokesman's lukewarm statement on the GOP plan comes after the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on Monday produced an estimate of the budgetary effects.

The budget analysts predicted that 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation in 2018 than under current law, with that number rising to 24 million by 2026.

The CBO also said the legislation would slice $337 billion off federal budget deficits by 2026, a move that could pacify conservative Republicans who have opposed other elements of the bill.

Average premiums for people buying insurance on their own under the proposed law would be 15 to 20 percent higher in 2018 and 2019 than under current law. That would change by 2026, however, with premiums around 10 percent lower than under current law.

While dozens of lawmakers have been outspoken in support or opposition of the proposal, which was unveiled last week, Comstock has remained silent.

Jeff Marschner, Comstock's deputy chief of staff, said, “The legislation is a work in progress, and we continue to talk with constituents, medical professionals and other stakeholders on their concerns and needed reforms.”

Democrats, meanwhile, remain united against the new bill, and they've become emboldened by the CBO findings.

Both of Virginia's senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, have come out against the new health care plan.

Meredith Kelly of The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a statement this week, saying, “House Republicans have reached a new low in their blind pursuit of ACA repeal."

"After years of finger pointing and grandstanding, they've revealed half-baked legislation – negotiated behind closed doors – that rips health care away from hardworking families, breaks the promises they've already made,” Kelly said. “The question is simple: Will Representative Comstock fall in line with the far-right wing of her part and vote against her constituents?”

Members of President Donald Trump's administration were quick to denounce elements of the CBO's findings.

“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services said.

On Tuesday, changes were suggested to the bill by Senate Republicans who want to see the AHCA encompass lower insurance costs for poor older Americans. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the Republican leadership, asked for steps to make the bill “more helpful to people on the lower end.”

Under Obamacare, insurers cannot charge older adults more than three times what they charge younger adults for the same coverage. Under the new bill, insurers would be able to expand that to 5-1.

Republicans in favor of the measure cannot afford many defections when the bill is expected to come to a vote next week.


This neutral, wishy-washy stance makes Comstock complicit in the eventual deaths of thousands as their healthcare is torn away by the Republican party.  Absolutely makes no sense that in such a progressive area that somebody like was elected.

Comstock’s district has lots of people who serve in the Federal Government and more who owe their jobs to funds expended by the Feds.  At some point I predict she’ll see where this is taking her and do what Frank Wolf was known for doing—taking care of Federal workers and the jobs that depend on them.  Time’s running out…

Loudoun4Trump - curious what you think of the AHCA bill. I have yet to find a single person who sees herself or himself as a conservative and/or Republican who likes it (BESIDES politicians.)

Of course, if you are a politician, then never mind.

As for your suggestion about Comstock writing her own healthcare bill - who knew healthcare could be so complicated! (heh)

Anyway, I am curious to know your thoughts about the bill.

You would think in nearly 8 years, the GOP could have come up with something more viable than “Trumpcare”.  Talk about implementing “death panels”...Obamacare’s got nothing on this trainwreck…

Yeah, a proposal that will gut the federal workforce she represents and surely lead to a downturn in our local economy.  This is SO hard to decide on isn’t it?  Oh wait, she’s a Republican so it’s party before the public so I can see her conflict.

If she supports this deplorable President’s budget then she should and WILL be run out on a rail next election time.

Comstock will have to start working and take a position at some point or Wexton is going to come in and add her to the one-and-done club.

Why doesn’t Comstock write her own bill?  Because that would require work her staff is not up to the job to do…weak representation….

If legislators wish to denounce the CBO they should slow down, and offer up an alternative analysis that is totally transparent in its methodology.

Let’s legislative on data, if not facts.  The United States can endure a congress which bases its actions on information; it places itself on the road to perdition if it only can legislate based on discrediting data it simply doesn’t like.

I know Representative Comstock makes it a point to try to stay invisible and never take a position that might require some leadership on her part.  I get that and most of the time it doesn’t much matter.

But this isn’t most times.  The GOP health care plan is many things but at its heart, it is a mechanism to take health care away from poorer Americans so some very rich Americans can have a tax cut.

Shouldn’t be hard to have an opinion one way or another on whether that’s good public policy.


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