Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama asserted on July 10 that the U.S. could not afford to insure all of its citizens, but could give the wealthiest a tax break (video below).
Brooks, who is part of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House, made his comments on CNN while discussing the Senate health care bill, which would cause 22 million Americans to be uninsured by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate.
Brooks insisted the U.S. does not have the money to cover the health of its own citizens, as other developed nations have done for decades:
I would love for every American to have a perfect health care system where we can deliver perfect care every time someone is ill, but we don’t have enough money.
And we're already risking insolvency and bankruptcy of a nation that took over two centuries of our ancestors to sacrifice and to build. So, we have to take into account our financial limitations and do the best we can.
After Brooks painted a dire picture of the financial situation in the U.S., CNN host Chris Cuomo reminded Brooks that he supports giving the money that is cut from health care to wealthy people in the form of massive tax breaks.
Brooks insisted those wealthy people would spend that money to create jobs: "Those folks who have the money are the ones that create the jobs that employ us. So sure, we can take money from the people who have been successful, but every time we do so they have less money to invest."
The Associated Press notes that Republican divisions over health care are getting worse.
President Donald Trump has been pressuring Republican senators to pass the GOP plan quickly, while Vice President Mike Pence suggested that Obamacare may have to be repealed without a replacement plan.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas recently told journalists that a new GOP bill would come out this week with a goal to vote on it next week.
The AP notes that conservative Republicans want a full Obamacare repeal; however, moderate Republicans do not want that type of drastic cut.
Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 votes, and Pence would serve as the tie-breaker.
Republicans have 52 senators, so they cannot afford to lose more than two votes.
"I believe that we should not repeat the mistake that [President Barack Obama] made in passing major legislation with no support from the other party," Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said.
Pence had a different take on Rush Limbaugh's radio show: "The president's made it very clear. We believe if they can't pass this carefully crafted repeal and replace bill, do those two things simultaneously, we ought to just repeal only."
However, few Republicans think a repeal bill could pass without a replacement bill to go with it.