D19 Congressman Jodey Arrington prepares for critical healthcare - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

D19 Congressman Jodey Arrington prepares for critical healthcare vote

Congressman Arrington spoke with KCBD about the upcoming hearing he will have a say in (source: KCBD video) Congressman Arrington spoke with KCBD about the upcoming hearing he will have a say in (source: KCBD video)

Phase one of the GOP health care legislation faces a critical hearing Thursday with the House Committee on Budget, a committee our very own District 19 has a hand in.

Congressman Jodey Arrington sits on that budget committee. But just how important is Arrington's vote?

Arrington was often asked about his stance on Obamacare as he was campaigning last year.

We asked him ourselves during a congressional debate hosted by KCBD last May:

"Do you favor repealing every word of the Affordable Care Act? Or do you think we should retain some of the protections for people with pre-existing conditions and adult children allowed to stay on their parents plan until 26?"

He answered:

"There is not a lot in Obamacare that I think is worth keeping. Pre-existing conditions, people that have pre-existing conditions, that is one element that we need to preserve."

During an interview with KCBD in January, Arrington said central planning of our healthcare system has been a quote "abject failure", referring back to a comment made about the struggle of rural hospitals during his first speech on the house floor.

"Obamacare has made America sick, and when America is sick, rural America is in the ICU," Arrington said.

There are 22 Republicans out of 36 total members in the House Committee on Budget, which, by the numbers, seems like an easy vote.

But, according to a recent article from conservativereview.com, some Republicans and conservative groups, like the House Freedom Caucus are pushing back, calling for a full repeal of Obamacare and claiming Speaker Ryan's bill doesn't go far enough.

Knowing his vote on the House Budget Committee this week is critical, we called Congressman Arrington's office to see what he thinks of the House bill before his committee.

"West Texas and rural regions of the country are disproportionally affected by overregulation and by government programs like Obamacare, so I am firmly committed to repealing this. Now the question is, how far can we go to get it to the ideal piece of legislation?" Arrington said.

Congressman Arrington says one of the challenges will be getting enough votes to move this legislation forward to the Senate, but he says after speaking with his colleagues, he feels they're going into Thursday's hearing with enough momentum.

"There's not a Republican I've talked to that isn't supportive of pre-existing conditions. That's something I would say is a good carry over from Obamacare. Most of us shared the same sentiments that this isn't perfect. I'm holding out hope and working on getting provisions in there that make it more fiscally responsible and more free market in its design," Congressman Arrington said.

Following Thursday's hearing with the House Budget Committee, the bill will move to the Rules Committee.

That hearing is scheduled for next week.

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