Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs will turn down GOP health bill
PHOENIX — As the GOP health care bill made it past an early stumbling block Friday morning, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said he would not be voting for it as is.
“There’s really nothing there. They said we’re not going to negotiate anymore. It remains rife with problems. I’m still a no,” the U.S. congressman from Gilbert told KTAR’s Arizona’s Morning News shortly before the rules committee went to work.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) March 24, 2017
In the day’s first meaningful roll call, the House used a near party-line 230-194 vote to insert changes into the measure that leaders hoped would win over unhappy Republicans.
No Democrats will vote for the bill.
“It remains unconstitutional,” Biggs said of the measure. “… When (Supreme Court) Chief Justice (John) Roberts decided that Obamacare was constitutional, it was based on the fact that it was a tax. Well, when you repeal a tax, or a significant portion of taxes, does it still fall under the constitutional rubric that he created?”
Biggs is in favor of bringing down premiums and giving states more control.
“I think the vote count is going to be really close. I would prefer they pull the bill and go back to the drawing board, see if we can negotiate something that really works for the American people. But they’re not going to pull it.”
Republicans can lose only 22 votes in the face of united Democratic opposition. A tally by The Associated Press found at least 32 “no” votes, but the figure was subject to fluctuation amid frantic GOP lobbying.
Fellow Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has also opposed the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.