This is the statement issued by Delco Congressman U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, a few hours after President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the GOP's American Health Care Act when it became clear they did not have the votes to pass it and were staring at an ignominius defeat:
“Obamacare has left too many Pennsylvanians behind, and middle class families face skyrocketing premiums and less access to the doctors they trust,” said Congressman Meehan. “I’ve long said we need to repeal it and replace it with real reforms that address the cost of care and make quality coverage more affordable. I’ve been supportive of moving this process forward and crafting legislation that achieves these goals.
“The bill took important steps to dismantle Obamacare’s maze of taxes and mandates, and it also preserved protections for people with pre-existing conditions – a top priority of mine throughout this debate,” Meehan continued. “But I also expressed serious concerns about just what this bill would have meant for Pennsylvania. I had hoped that as the bill worked its way through the House, we’d be able to improve it and ensure we’re lowering costs for patients.
“This legislation didn’t go far enough to bring down the cost of care or make essential coverage more affordable. Ultimately, this bill was not a satisfactory repeal of Obamacare, nor an adequate replacement,” Meehan said.
“This issue isn’t going away. With more time and more feedback from members and their constituents, I hope we’ll be able to continue the repeal-and-replace process, both through regulatory reforms by the administration and through legislation that reflects the priorities we’ve set. It’s more important we get this done right than get it done fast,” Meehan concluded.
It is a perfectly good statement, covering all the key points in this most contentious issue: Meehan's long opposition to the Affordable Care Act; his concerns with the GOP replacement; the fact that he would not be able to vote for this bill; and the work that still lies ahead on health care.
There is only one thing wrong with it.
I wish he had issued the exact same statement Thursday afternoon, when the issue was still very much up in the air, rather then in the comfort of late Friday afternoon, when he knew he was not going to have to cast a vote.
I talk about it in my weekly print column, my Letter From the Editor.