House members not on the same page during healthcare markup process

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lawmakers are still at war over repealing and replacing “Obamacare”. After the Congressional Budget Office divulged the effects of the American Health Care Act, lawmakers are scrambling to make changes. House members in charge of revising the bill have mixed feelings about how the process went down.

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) says everything she brought to the table during the markup process was rejected.

“They are trying to have their cake and eat it too,” said Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).

Sewell is disheartened by the markup process of the American Health Care Act, the House Republican leaders’ bill to repeal and replace “Obamacare”. Sewell is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the first committee to push the legislation through. She says Republicans rammed this legislation down Democrats' throats.

“All efforts…that I tried to have in the markup in Ways and Means to try to make this bill a better, more palatable bill, were refused by my Republican colleagues,” said Sewell.

She says she proposed amendments addressing rural hospitals and health disparities in rural and minority communities, but was voted down.

“I’d rather sit at the table and be part of the solution, but this was not the way to do it,” said Sewell. “I was highly disappointed in my Republican colleagues.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee also reviewed and passed the legislation. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) says his goal in that hearing was to counter what he calls false information from Democrats.

“I wanted to come across as someone that’s trying to work with someone that has a concern and say, ‘Guys this is actually the facts of it. I understand you have talking points,’” said Mullin.

Mullin says he also focused on rural hospitals as well as Medicaid and Indian health services. This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said 24 million people could be uninsured by 2026.

“They don’t take a lot stuff into consideration, although it’s a starting point,” said Mullin. “But once that CBO score came out, we already knew before that we were going to make some changes to it.”

The American Health Care Act is expected to come up for a full House vote in the coming weeks.