J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday said that the House “moved a bit too fast” on its bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which he compared unfavorably to the process Democrats used to pass the original health care legislation in 2010.
“I think the House moved a bit too fast. 18 days is simply not enough time for such a major landmark legislation,” Cotton said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
He said that Republicans will have to “revisit” the bill, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House both appeared eager to move on to other areas of policy after the legislation was pulled on Friday less than an hour before it was scheduled to go to the House floor.
“We now have the time to do it in a more deliberate and careful fashion,” Cotton said. “To release a bill that was written in secret and then expect to pass it in 18 days I just don’t think was feasible.”
He unfavorably compared Republican efforts to bring the bill to Trump’s desk to Democrats’ work on health care legislation in 2009.
“For 60 years at least they had been pursuing a national health care system, yet they didn’t introduce legislation for eight months,” Cotton said. “They didn’t pass it for over a year of Barack Obama’s first term.”
He said that Democrats used public hearings and testimony, and noted that Obama held town halls on the plan, which he also discussed in a speech to a joint session of Congress.
“I’m not saying that we needed 14 months to do this,” Cotton said. “But I think that a more careful and deliberate approach, which we now have time to do because we’re going to have to revisit health care anyway, would have gotten us further down the path toward a solution.”
House Republicans released their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on March 6 and originally scheduled it for a vote on March 24 — as Cotton noted, only 18 days later.