A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora told a reporter Monday that Coffman broke away from Trump on healthcare.
That should sound familiar, if you’ve been following Coffman, because he’s been saying it early and often since last year.
In fact, it’s only partially true. Coffman supports what’s essentially a Trump proposal to repeal Obamacare now–but implement the repeal at an unspecified later date. In other words, Congress would pass legislation with a deadline/date for repealing the law sometime in the future.
After the U.S. Senate’s dramatic three-vote failure to kill Obamacare, Coffman told a Denver TV station he’d have backed a bill to do away with the national health care law–a move that would likely have pushed millions off the health insurance rolls.
Asked by 9News’ Marshall Zelinger last year (at 1:30 here) if he’d support a “straight repeal” of Obamacare, Coffman said yes.
Zelinger: “What about a straight repeal?”
Coffman: “If you said, ‘Well, okay, we’re going to repeal,’ and the date certain for the repeal was long enough out, where it wouldn’t disrupt the markets, and it gave Congress adequate time, I think that would be appropriate.”
Coffman, who’s voted with Trump 96 percent of the time, has never been asked for details about his proposal to repeal Obamacare and try to replace it later.
Why wouldn’t the uncertainty of not having a replacement in hand disrupt the health-insurance markets, no matter how “far out” the repeal date is? Why does he think there could be an agreement on an Obamacare replacement in the future when there was no agreement by Republicans in seven years of trying prior to their failure last year?
When Coffman says he wants a date-certain for an Obamacare repeal to be “far enough out,” how long is he talking?
Coffman has gone both ways on the GOP road to repeal Obamacare. He promised to vote for the first House measure to kill Obamacare, a bill that would have taken away health insurance from millions of people. But it was never voted on.
Then he voted against the second GOP House bill, a repeal-and-replace plan, which also would have pushed millions off the health insurance rolls. That’s when he moved away from Trump.
But weeks later, Coffman told Zelinger he still wanted to repeal Obamacare, without protections for people with pre-existing conditions, with the vague hope that a better plan would be devised sometime in the future.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gave a similar Trump-backed proposal to repeal Obamacare, without replacing it, a thumbs down.