ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona rep. voted against health care bill because he wasn’t given time to read it

May 4, 2017, 4:08 PM | Updated: May 5, 2017, 11:40 am
(Twitter Photo)...
(Twitter Photo)
(Twitter Photo)
LISTEN: Congressman Andy Biggs

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said one reason he did not vote for a Republican health care bill on Thursday is because he was not given ample time to read it.

“I did not get a chance to read those changes, but that was the additional $8 billion in spending that was put in because of the requests of moderates that had bounced off the bill,” U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday.

Biggs, the only Arizona House Republican to vote against the bill, said President Donald Trump called about 10 minutes before the vote to encourage him to change his mind.

“I had a wonderful, cordial conversation with the president earlier [Thursday],” Biggs said.

“He was gracious and he did not twist arms, he did not make threats, anything like that. It was just, ‘What can you do? If possible, come on board.’ He was very cordial.”

The bill was passed by Congress on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the $8 billion amendment was given to the House Rules Committee, despite Biggs’ vote.

Biggs said another reason he voted no is he promised his constituents during his campaign that he would not vote in support of anything without reading it first. Thursday was another example that, though he had been keeping up with all the bill’s changes but was not given a final copy.

“If you’ve been reading all along, you could probably catch up with the amendment that was done [Wednesday] night, provided it was accessible,” he said.

Biggs said he was able to garner, from what he was able to read, that the new health care bill doesn’t follow through on the Republican Party’s election promise to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

“The reality is, of course this isn’t a repeal,” he said. “It doesn’t adhere to the Republican Party platform that we said that Obamacare is unconstitutional. You take away those two things and we’re not keeping a promise.”

The bill passed Thursday would remove Obamacare, but install a new health care system in its place that is drastically different. Biggs said that is not enough.

“Are we moving toward reduced premiums? Are we setting people free? Are they getting to make their own choices? And the answer is: The federal government is still in charge of everyone’s health insurance in this country,” he said.

Biggs also argued that, without an analysis of the bill by the impartial Congressional Budget Office, he cannot guarantee the Republican plan will lower premiums.

“I bet it’s still two or weeks out before we get that (analysis),” he said. “That’s worrisome as well.”

Biggs proposed a few amendments to the bill. He wanted states to be able to easily opt out of the federal plan and allow both individuals and businesses to purchase health care across state lines.

“Those two things would help bring down rates enormously,” he said.

Though the bill passed the House, Biggs does not expect it to make it past the next step: the Senate.

“If something passes in the Senate, this isn’t it,” he said. “It’s going to be molded and shaped to whatever they need to get their votes in the Senate. I think they’re going to try really hard but it won’t look like this.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix metro sets record with workforce of 2.3 million at end of 2021

The Phoenix metro area had a record number of workers at the end of 2021, the city said in a Wednesday press release.
4 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona utility regulators reject new renewable energy rules for the second time in a year

Arizona's utility regulators have rejected new rules that would have drastically boosted the use of renewable energy for the second time in a year, drawing sharp reaction from clean energy advocates who said the decision leaves the state far behind what is needed to address climate change.
4 hours ago
David Whitaker (Pinal County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sex offender who hid in desert for 107 days sentenced to 25 years behind bars

A 42-year-old man who was accused of sexual contact with a minor and hid for more than 107 days in the desert before being arrested has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona Senate panel OKs working poor tax credit backed by Democrats, Gov. Ducey

A Democratic proposal to create a new tax credit for working low-income Arizonans that Republican Gov. Doug Ducey adopted as part of his budget proposal was approved by an Arizona Senate committee Wednesday.
1 day ago
FILE - This Aug. 19, 2010, file photo shows then-Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan at a new...
Associated Press

Former Arizona prisons director had tequila in system before standoff, police say

Former Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan had already consumed a half bottle of tequila by the time officers responded to a call nearly three weeks ago at his Tempe home that he had shot himself, according to police reports released Wednesday that offer a new theory on how the former prisons boss was injured.
1 day ago
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Jeff Flake, the new U.S. ambassador to Turkey, p...
Associated Press

Ex-US Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona begins post as ambassador to Turkey

Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona formally stepped into his new position as U.S. ambassador to Turkey on Wednesday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
...
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
...
PNC BANK

How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
Arizona rep. voted against health care bill because he wasn’t given time to read it