With the second attempt to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act delayed and in jeopardy, it now raises question about whether President Trump can accomplish any of his agenda before the 2018 mid-term elections.
In an appearance on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics this morning, U.S. Rep. Dr. Michael C. Burgess, R-Denton County and the longest serving medical doctor in Congress, was asked whether the president’s attempt at tax reform or any other legislative overhaul is now in doubt.
“No, but it hurts that it has taken so long. I acknowledge that and accept that reality, I was hopeful the Senate would do something before the fourth of July. [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell said that was his plan, too. They need to get their work done. They need to come to a consensus. [The House] may have other ideas after they pass their bill,” said the congressman.
An amendment was added to the Senate’s healthcare bill which says if someone goes without insurance for 63-days, they’ll get locked out of coverage for six months.
Burgess defended that.
“Correct. The House had a provision that would have increased the premium for one year by 30% for someone who failed to keep continuous coverage. Medicare has a continuous coverage provision. Medicare Part B, Part D, both have continuous coverage provisions. The concept is not new,” Burgess explained. “I actually preferred what we did on the House side.”
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is among the Republican senators who do not support the healthcare bill. Cruz said it does not lower premiums and reduce healthcare costs.
“A lot of people say we really need to lower premiums. I agree with that. I want to lower premiums. But there’s nothing I can do today that will lower premiums this year because those contracts are already set,” said Burgess.
One of the biggest distractions has been the president’s constant use of Twitter including last week’s personal attack against an MSNBC host.
“Well, it doesn’t distract me but generally it is not helpful,” replied Burgess.
In his own response to Trump’s comment about the television host, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse Tweeted to President Trump: "Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office."