A Republican Senator Just Warned His Colleagues About Trumpcare

March 12th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent a powerful message to his Republican colleagues during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that their support for the GOP’s new healthcare bill could endanger their majority in the House of Representatives.

“I’m afraid that if they vote for this bill, they’re going to put the House majority at risk next year,” Cotton said, referring to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Cotton also said that he believed the bill meant to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would die in the Senate and that, rather than support a bill that would simply anger their base and not go into law, Republicans should “take a pause and try to get as close as we can to a good result before we send it to the Senate."

The Republican healthcare legislation has been roundly criticized as providing billions in tax cuts for the wealthy and hurting low-income Americans by disincentivizing Medicaid coverage for those who live near or below the poverty line.

President Donald Trump notably promised not to cut Medicaid during his presidential campaign but has supported the new bill, which has been labeled “Trumpcare” by his opponents.

Cotton was also critical of the proposed law earlier this week and warned, “insurance rates could go up and Americans could have even less control over their health care systems” if it went into effect. His comments come after surges in enrollment for the ACA and a visible blowback against representatives who support its dismantling. 

During a congressional recess in February, Republican lawmakers were slammed at town hall meetings in their districts by constituents largely upset by their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Cotton, who supports repealing President Obama’s signature legislation, was met by a hostile crowd of around 2,000 people at his town hall and was repeatedly asked about Republican plans to repeal the law.

Cotton's comments have earned him some praise on the other side of the aisle and have aligned him with other critics of the new healthcare bill, including those in the medical industry who claim that it does not provide enough for the needs of Americans, as well as some conservative Republicans who have said that it provides too much in the way of subsidies.