Sen. Tom Cotton on Healthcare: ‘We’re Writing Our Own Bill’
Sen. Tom Cotton supports repealing Obamacare, but he has promised that Senate Republicans are “going to write our own bill,” rather than rubber stamping the House version of the American Health Care Act passed on Thursday, after telling a recent town hall meeting he believed the House was “moving too fast” to push through the measure.
The division is showing that while he aligns in tone with most of President Donald Trump’s agenda items, he’s distancing himself from the House bill the president has backed.
Cotton, 39, had appeared to be looking forward to a presidential run of his own, reports The Post, including a making a visit to Iowa just four weeks before the November election. At that time, Republicans feared Trump would lose, and had been looking ahead to a fight for the White House in 2020.
But his win left Cotton and other Republicans like him with difficult choices moving forward, including on the growing healthcare debate.
Typically, Cotton has agreed with Trump’s conservative base, but on healthcare, he’s met with mixed reaction when he says he does support repealing Obamacare, while admitting that the law has helped some in his state while hurting “many more.”
The post reports, though, that Obamacare has caused Arkansas’ uninsured rate to drop by more than 12 percentage points from 2013 to 2016, more than in any other state except for Kentucky, according to a recent Gallup survey.
But his spokeswoman, Caroline Rabbitt, confirmed to the post that Cotton wants to insure that his state’s governor will have “the flexibility he needs to help Arkansans adapt to any changes to Medicaid.”
Cotton’s Republican colleagues are also divided on how to move forward on healthcare reform, particularly those from states where Medicaid was expanded.
Then there others, like Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, who is calling for nothing less than a vote for a full Obamacare repeal.
Cotton does back Trump’s approach on foreign policy, saying the president made the “right call” to strike a Syrian air base, and he has excused Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns.