Speed Reads

is that your final answer?

Vox pressed GOP senators on health-care specifics. Their answers were alarmingly vague.

This week, Vox asked eight Republican senators to explain the GOP-backed American Health Care Act that's being negotiated in the Senate. Vox got some answers, but mainly it got a lot of non-answers about the bill that Senate Republicans are crafting behind closed doors. A draft copy of the bill has yet to be released, and at this point there are no plans for a hearing.

Vox noted that while senators sometimes "could identify a desired outcome, like 'lowering premiums' or 'stabilizing marketplaces,'" they "rarely could explain the mechanism through which they planned on achieving that outcome." Senate Republicans are apparently aiming for a vote on the health-care bill before the July 4 recess, but these answers suggest there's still much work to be done:

  • Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on "what problems this bill is trying to solve": "Almost all of them."
  • Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) on how Republicans will "lower premiums": "It's working together and coming up with a bill that does that."
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) on whether she's "confident" the AHCA will help her constituents "in a way ObamaCare has not": "That's the goal."
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on how the GOP-backed health-care bill will affect the market: "I'm not suggesting premiums will go down, but they won't go up as much."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on how the Senate is amending the version of the bill that passed the House: "I don't know that. Because none of us have actually seen language."
  • Boozman on why it's "necessary" to cut Medicaid: "I'm not going to argue with you. Who do you represent?"
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on how the AHCA will bring stability to the ObamaCare's "volatile exchanges": "By bringing certainty to the insurance market."

  • McCain on whether the bill so far is "solving the problems in the health-care system": "What I hear is that we have not reached consensus."

Head over to Vox to read the interviews in full.