“They have no choice but to act. They said they were going to. Let’s get on it with it. Let’s get the game going,” he said on Fox Business. “Let’s vote for at least getting it debated and hopefully it can be fixed up.”
Mr. Thompson, who as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush pushed through Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, said he’s not a fan of the Senate bill but it’s the best option yet to replace the failing Obamacare law.
“I don’t like it. A lot of Republicans don’t,” he said. “They said they were going to get rid of the taxes and now they are keeping the Obama taxes in place. That doesn’t make sense for a Republican to do that.”
However, Mr. Thompson warned Republicans that the alternative is defeat at the polls.
“Republicans have got to get something done. They’ve got to stand up and be counted, and if they are not, they are going to go down to defeat in 2018,” he said. “There are many ways to fix this bill. So let’s hope they get started and let’s get moving.”
The Senate vote on the latest version of the health care bill is on hold until Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, recovers from surgery. Senate Republicans need every last vote to pass the bill, which has no Democratic support and is rapidly losing GOP backing.
Republican leaders cancelled half of Congress’ August recess to try and finish the health care bill.
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