U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has traveled his usual winding road on supporting Obamacare repeal bills this year, even doing his usual U-turn along the way.
And today, with the House set to vote on a tax bill that would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate and throw 13 million people off the health insurance rolls, including 225,000 here in Colorado by 2025, Coffman needs to decide once again what to do.
If Coffman prioritizes a partial Obamacare repeal over tax benefits (mostly) for the rich, he’ll vote against the tax bill, if you believe what he told KOA 850-AM’s April Zesbaugh Nov. 17.
Zesbaugh asked Coffman directly whether he thought repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of the tax bill was a “bad idea.”
Coffman dodged the question, but said definitively that he prefers to “deal with the healthcare issues separately.”
Coffman: I prefer to deal with the healthcare issues separately.
Where there’s a savings from healthcare that’s as an offset, as if you do away with the individual mandate for Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, that there are a lot of people who are forced to buy insurance that will no longer buy insurance, and they will no longer have the subsidies. That’s where the savings is in that. (Listen below)
So Coffman explained the Republican logic, without taking a position on it or pointing out collateral damage, in the form of millions of people losing health insurance coverage.
He also did not say whether he’d vote for the tax bill if it ended up repealing the individual mandate.
The House version of the tax bill, which Coffman backed, did not include this provision.
And Coffman told Zesbaugh that he expected the final version of the tax bill to be “something closer to the House version.”
In terms of health care, that’s not the case. So Coffman is left with a choice.
Earlier this year, you recall, Coffman said he’d vote for a House Obamacare repeal bill, which would have pushed millions off Medicaid health insurance. But the bill never came up for a vote.
Then Coffman voted against a similar Obamacare repeal bill, which passed the House but never cleared the Senate, thanks to the thumbs of Sen. John McCain of Arizona and others.
Next, Coffman indicated he’d vote for a repeal-Obamacare-later bill, under which the healthcare law would be repealed but the implementation of the repeal would come later.
Coffman told Marshall Zelinger of 9News he wanted the Obamacare repeal to be deep enough into the future so as not to “disrupt the markets” and would give Congress “adequate time” to replace it.
The Congressman didn’t offer a date when the markets wouldn’t be disrupted and Congress would have adequate time to come up with a replacement.
Listen to Mike Coffman on 850-KOA Nov. 17, 2017.