Click Here to Watch Sen. Barrasso.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) appeared on “Face the Nation” this morning to discuss the recent federal court ruling on Obamacare, border security, and funding the government.
Below are key excerpts of the interview:
On Funding the Government:
“I’m working to the fact of keeping the government open. I think that is what the American people expect of the people that they elect. Keep the government open. If there's any short of shutdown, it would only be a partial shutdown. Remember, Margaret, through the appropriations process we’ve already have approved 75% of the funding for the government for the next year. But I still think it's better to not have any sort of - even a partial - shutdown, whether it's over Christmas or any time, I don't think people benefit by that.
“I know we're trying in the House and the Senate to come up with a proposal to get passed in both of those bodies before Friday the 21st, and then send that to the White House, which I hope the president would choose to sign.
“There are a number of different options, that’s one, another is longer-term. I would like to actually get all the appropriations bills passed. I think we do much better governing for our country if we do the whole thing through the appropriations process. We were able to do 75% of the funding, we still have a ways to go.
On Border Security:
“Border security is critical to this country, it is part to me, part of national security along with economic security and energy security. Border security is key to us as a nation. There are lot of things you need to do with border security, one is a physical barrier, but also the technology, the manpower, the enforcement. All of those things. Our current laws are in some ways an incentive for people to come to this country illegally and they go through great risk and possibly great harm.
“There are people working on this to get to a conclusion so the government will remain open, which is what I believe the American people would prefer.
On Obamacare Ruling:
“Well, one part of the health care law that we took out with the tax law was the individual mandate, that people had to pay a fine. The Democrats didn't even offer an amendment to leave it in the bill. Because they know that of the people that were paying this fine, millions paid the fine, most of them earned less than $50,000 a year. It was very punishing, money they could have used to see a doctor for their child or their family.
“If the mandate goes away then other things go away. As a doctor, people say to me, what does this mean to me? For right now, very little. If you're getting treatment, if you have a preexisting condition, if you signed up for Obamacare in this recent sign up period, it doesn't change a thing.
On if Supreme Court Will Take Up Obamacare Case:
“We have a different makeup of the Supreme Court. It may be several years until it gets there. But as a doctor, I will tell you I focus on people with pre-existing conditions. I've always been focused, as I was working on health care legislation, making sure people could get the care they need from a doctor that they choose at lower costs. We didn't get that in Wyoming. After Obamacare was passed, many people lost their insurance, premiums doubled, so that doesn't give people affordable insurance that's appropriate for them and their families.
On Protecting Patients with Pre-existing Conditions:
“Government never does big things really well. I'm for more of a step by step, and I want to start with the first step of people with pre-existing continues. My wife, Bobbi, is a breast cancer survivor. She’s been through three operations, chemotherapy twice, and I will tell you as a husband as well as a doctor, I am committed to helping people with pre-existing conditions.
“We can do that, there are number of ways to do it. One is what Maine has done in terms of their high-risk people, helping with additional subsidies but at the same time, it allows insurance to be much cheaper, more affordable for other people. Our children's health insurance plan that works across the country – it works so well because states have a bigger say in that. When I was in our state senate in Wyoming, we knew what we wanted to do in Wyoming may not fit what people would want in New York state. If you give states that flexibility and freedom to do what works best with the money, I think it works much better for families and for patients.
On Replacing Obamacare:
“I want to work with additional Democrats. What we're seeing from the Democrat side, whether it’s Bernie Sanders or so many of the Democrat candidates for president in 2020, they’re talking about a different step away from Obamacare as well. They agree that Obamacare hasn't worked, and they're talking about a program of complete government takeover of health care with increased taxes and fewer choices and longer lines, and that to me doesn't help people in the long run.
“I talked to people yesterday. I was in Wyoming at a wreath ceremony, and talked to somebody on Medicare that said, we don't want Medicare for all, we've paid in to Medicare our whole life. This isn't the time to put more people on to that program. We want to make sure that that is saved and strengthened and held for people that are already on the program and have paid in over their lifetime.”