Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) pushed back against party lines on Thursday, voting against the Republican healthcare plan, saying in a statement that he’s concerned that “a small percentage of those with preexisting conditions may still not be protected.”
"It certainly hope that there's going to be a lot of work in the Senate. It clearly is not a perfect bill by any stretch of the imagination. I didn't vote for it, but the fact is we do have problems we need to take care of," Coffman told Next anchor Kyle Clark, in a satellite interview from Washington.
The Congressman says he did work with party leadership, in hopes of making some of the changes he hoped for, but was not successful.
"There are problems with the Affordable Care Act. I think that the healthcare exchanges are failing. I think we need to do some Medicare reform that's in here, but I also think we need to preserve some of the consumer protections that are in the Affordable Care Act, particularly pre-existing conditions."
Coffman was Colorado’s only "no" on the GOP’s original failed Affordable Care Act repeal bill, despite President Trump recently reaching out to Coffman by phone to ask for his support -- including on the morning of the vote. Coffman told the President then that he would not be voting for this plan.
"We actually had two calls from the President. I think the earlier call, I described to the President that there was a problem with the bill, that I was insisting on language to tighten it up concerning preexisting conditions in the MacArthur Amendment. He certainly acknowledged that, and certainly wanted to close. And I said, 'Wait a minute, Mr. President, I need this language for my vote. It's important to me.'" And so, the President called me again today, and essentially asked for me to vote for it again, I said that I was not successful with leadership in getting that particular language in the bill that would tighten up those preexisting conditions, those protections, and I couldn't vote for it. He was gracious about that, and understood that."
In his written statement, Coffman also expressed concerns with voting for a bill that has not “been fully scored by the Congressional Budget Office and whose estimated price tag is unknown.”
Read the full statement here:
Coffman on his ‘No’ Vote on AHCA: pic.twitter.com/jcsYqLmVid
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) May 4, 2017
Coffman told Next that he's heard from voters who favored the repeal, and from those who were against it, including personal and group, face-to-face meetings with individuals and healthcare providers.
Kyle will include Coffman's interview in a bigger discussion about today's healthcare vote - Thursday on Next, at 6 on 9NEWS.
USA TODAY has a primer on the latest iteration of the GOP healthcare bill here: https://usat.ly/2q2xWBA