Leonard Lance (R, NJ-07) could help decide the fate of a Republican health care reform package, Save Jerseyans. A vote is presently scheduled for Thursday.
“Yes, he’s a no right now,” his spokesman John Byers confirmed for me after the following report from NBC News broke earlier Wednesday:
Lance’s position isn’t a surprise notwithstanding his close relationship with Speak Paul Ryan, the bill’s primary backer in the House of Representatives. Lance sharply criticized his party’s approach to “repairing” Obamacare during a recent pair of town hall meetings held in his Central Jersey congressional district.
“I campaigned in support of a repeal and replace bill that would make health care more affordable and accessible and provide a smooth transition to those who were forced into Obamacare through no fault of their own,” Lance told USA Today on Tuesday. “The bill, as currently drafted, does none of these things. What’s more, important ideas like purchase of policies across state lines, small business pooling and medical malpractice reform are absent from the legislation.”
Lance isn’t alone in feeling disappointed.
“Republicans in Congress promised a full repeal of Obamacare, but the current plan falls far short. It leaves intact some of the most harmful aspects of the law, including burdensome regulations that send insurance costs spiking and federal subsidies rebranded as tax credits. We simply cannot support this bill, and commit to standing with champions in the House who also oppose the continuation of Obamacare,” complained AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner in a statement of his own.
The vote is expected to be close assuming it goes off. Lance’s colleague in South Jersey, Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03), announced that he’s supporting the package after a series of changes for which he’s advocated were adopted.