Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on Thursday accused Democrats of putting out “misinformation” about Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare and argued that the legislation has “not been rushed,” despite reports that there will be just under a week to debate the 142-page proposal before an expected vote next week.
“It’s not been rushed,” Thune, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, told Fox News’ Jon Scott in an interview. “We’ve had seven years of Obamacare now, we’ve had plenty of time to examine the failures of Obamacare and they are very clear.”
The proposal, which was released publicly Thursday after a select group of Senate Republicans spent weeks drafting it in secret, would make even deeper cuts to Medicaid than House Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill, especially over the long-term.
“Medicaid will increase under this plan every year,” Thune said, not disputing a question from Scott about Democratic claims that the bill would dramatically cut Medicaid funding. “It will increase every year at the rate of inflation.”
“In terms of Medicaid spending — federal funding for Medicaid — Medicaid spending will continue to go up every single year,” he added later. “And so there’s a lot of misinformation that’s being put out there, of course by Democrats. But the fact of the matter is, the Medicaid program is being made sustainable, whereas before, if it continued at its current rate, it certainly would have been — it’s one of the three top entitlement programs that, if not reformed, are going to bankrupt the country.”
Scott cut to a commercial break, but not before asking Thune: “If you would be good enough to stick with us after a commercial break, I want to ask you about some of the complaints that have come from members of your own caucus about the secrecy that has heretofore surrounded this bill.”
Thune replied in the affirmative, but never got around to addressing his GOP colleague’s complaints. Scott noted ten minutes later that Thune wasn’t able to continue the interview “because of his Senate schedule.”
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