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Cheney on health care: ‘We’ve got to get it done’

Nearly eight months into her first term as Wyoming’s lone U.S. House representative, Liz Cheney said Cowboy State residents are still focused on the same issues they were during the 2016 election.

Along with policies that affect the energy industries, “I’m still getting questions about health care,” she said.

Cheney was in Gillette on Thursday and spent some of that time at the Senior Center, where she said there was plenty of concern expressed about health care and the effort to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Although the Republican bill to replace “Obamacare” hasn’t yet made it out of the Senate, Cheney said she’s confident it will happen sooner rather than later.

“No. 1, we have to deal with it,” she said. “We’ve got to get it done. I would point out, we did get it done on the House side. We got our bill passed. The Senate side has got to get its work done, and it will, I’m confident.”

She also said she doesn’t agree with the threat President Donald Trump has made to stop payments to insurance companies.

“I don’t think the president ought to stop those payments,” Cheney said. “Even though we’re in the mess we’re in because of Obamacare, Republicans are in charge now. We run the White House, the Senate and the House, so we can’t say, ‘Oh gosh, we’re just going to let it collapse.’ I think that would be a big mistake.”

Threats like stopping payments and putting deadlines on getting health care legislation passed are ways the president is trying to “inspire the Senate to get moving” on the issue, she said.

Cheney also said there should be a sense of urgency to get something done.

“We’re dealing with a collapsing system, so you can’t … take all the time in the world (to fix it),” she said.

Also, having Republican Sen. John McCain flip-flop and vote against the GOP bill after saying he’d support it has “played a very frustrating and disappointing role, frankly,” Cheney said.

Coal subsidies

Cheney’s visit also came only a couple of days after she and U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso sent a letter to the president urging him to not consider a proposal by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to subsidize coal produced in Appalachia.

He’s asking the federal government for about $4.5 billion to provide a $15 per ton subsidy incentive for coal-fired power plants to burn coal produced in Appalachia.

That would undercut coal produced elsewhere in the United States, including the Powder River Basin, said the Wyoming Congressional delegation.

“All of us in the delegation and the governor have made very clear you are not going to find a state in this country, a county in this country, that has been more supportive of President Trump than Campbell County, Wyoming,” Cheney said.

Undermining the state’s coal industry, however, would be the fastest way to lose that support, she said.

“We don’t want to be on a collision course, but if you adopt policies that hurt our coal industry, we will be,” she said, adding that propping up one area of the country at the expense of another is wrong.

“We won’t let that happen and we’re going to fight every hour of every day to make sure it doesn’t happen,” she said.


To read the full article by Greg Johnson of the Gillette News Record please click on the following link:


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