Congress is moving to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with a Nebraska Congressman sitting on one of the crucial committees acting on the measure.
Congressman Adrian Smith voted with other Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee to move the bill, saying it ultimately puts the consumer in charge of health insurance.
“The individual mandate I have always found to be an offensive component here, meaning that it’s the federal government’s idea that runs everyone’s lives. It’s not consumers themselves who come up with something in the marketplace that best meets their needs,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Some Republicans have come out against the plan being promoted by House Speaker Paul Ryan with conservatives claiming it falls short of the promises Republicans made on the campaign trail. Others have questioned its costs, with the Republican leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, insisting that the Senate needs a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before moving on the legislation.
Democrats remain staunchly against any plan to replace the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation. The votes in both the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee were party-line votes.
Smith says he has concerns about cost as well. He says this legislation is merely a first step and though the bill has attracted criticism from both the Left and the Right, its movement encourages Smith.
“Because I think we are seeing a clarity regarding the need for action.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]