Major Conservative Groups Come Out Against GOP’s Obamacare Alternative

Influential conservative groups on Tuesday announced their opposition to the American Health Care Act, the House GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan. Heritage Action, the activist arm of the powerful D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, dubbed the replacement bad politics and bad policy. “In many ways, the House Republican proposal released last night not only accepts the flawed progressive premises of Obamacare but expands on them,” Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham said. In a letter to GOP leaders, representatives of Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners called the plan “Obamacare 2.0.” The Club for Growth also came out against the American Health Care Act, dubbing it “RyanCare” after House Speaker Paul Ryan. Additionally, the Tea Party Patriots accused the GOP of not keeping its promises to its voters to do a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Joe Antos of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute told The New York Times that 10 to 15 million people would lose their health insurance over the next 10 years.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday called the legislation “Obamacare Lite,” warning that it will lead to premium spikes and lower-quality care. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Paul ally, said the legislation is a “missed opportunity” and “exactly the type of back-room dealing and rushed process we criticized the Democrats for.” Ryan scored the backing of the Trump administration earlier Tuesday from Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price. At a White House briefing with reporters later in the afternoon, Price said he is not worried about the early opposition to the legislation because it is still a “work in progress.”

—Andrew Desiderio