GOP Senator on Health Care Bill: Medicaid Spending Will Increase
Sen. John Thune, (R-SD), one of the senators who worked behind closed doors on the GOP health care bill, said that Medicaid spending will increase under the new bill.
"It will increase every year at the rate of inflation," Thune stated. He added that the bill aims to build upon the success of innovation already happening with respect to Medicaid.
Critics have slammed the bill on the basis that it will cut Medicaid, referring to the slower rate of Medicaid expansion proposed in the bill.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Capitol this morning to protest the reported cuts to Medicaid.
Thune pushed back on accusations from both sides that the process has been too secretive.
"It's not been rushed," Thune told host Jon Scott. "We've had seven years of ObamaCare now. We've had plenty of time to examine the failures of ObamaCare."
ObamaCare's premiums have skyrocketed since last year, with one of the last insurance exchanges in Iowa offering the government plans doubling rates this month.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also downplayed concerns, saying the bill must be written before it is presented.
"This shifts power, distributes power back to the states," Thune said.
The GOP bill will allow for more choices and competition, the South Dakota congressman promised.
"Too often these programs are driven out of Washington, D.C. in a one size fits all approach," Thune concluded.
Watch the interview above.
Later on in the show, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) pushed back on Thune's claims, saying the Medicaid cuts are deeper than in the House version.
He said the bill "shifts the burden" for covering Medicaid to states, rather than providing more money for the program.
Watch Cardin's thoughts below.