WASHINGTON (ABC4 Utah) – Republican Senator Mike Lee said Monday he would not vote in favor of the current version of the GOP healthcare bill now being debated.
In an interview with ABC4 Tuesday morning, Lee expanded on his reasons for opting out of the measure, arguing the Better Care Reconciliation Act does not do enough to erase its predecessor, Obamacare.
“As I looked over the latest iteration of this bill over the weekend, I couldn’t look at it in good faith as a repeal of Obamacare,” said Lee.
Lee’s rejection of the bill came as two other senators also indicated they will reject the bill in its current form, forcing a regrouping over the measure in the GOP-controlled Senate.
“There were some good things and there were a lot of things that fell short,” Lee said of the BCRA. In a statement monday night, Lee said:
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
In Tuesday’s interview with ABC4, Lee expanded on that statement. “This doesn’t look out adequately for the forgotten man and the forgotten woman across America and in the state of Utah to make sure it brings down their costs. That’s what I want, and that’s what the American people properly expect,” Lee said.
The bill is expected to die in its current form. It was slated for more debate next week. Some of Lee’s colleagues, including Sen. Jerry Moran (R- KS) said they would not support the bill.
Asked what comes next for the embattled measure, Lee said a different approach needs to be taken to hopefully gain bipartisan support.
“Repeal now, and then figure out what comes next, potentially inviting and enabling a bipartisan process,” said Sen. Lee. “We are not going to have that without first repealing [Obamacare].”
Political experts said the bill will not survive without support from three of the 52 GOP Senators in Washington.