Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), leader of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus, apparently didn't read the health care bill he voted for.
When reporters showed him the Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act nicknamed Trumpcare, in particular the analysis of how those with pre-existing conditions could very well not afford insurance due to high premiums, he appeared surprised. Then, he got choked up.
According to the Independent Journal Review, Meadows initially told reporters that he felt optimistic about the CBO report. However, as journalists continued to dig deeper into the meat of the findings, Meadows was apparently shocked by what they were telling him, insisting, "Well, that's not what I read."
At one point, he put on his reading glasses to confirm that the truth of what the reporters were saying. Then, as it all finally sunk in, Meadows got emotional.
"Listen, I lost my sister to breast cancer. I lost my dad to lung cancer," he said while reportedly tearing up. "If anybody is sensitive to pre-existing conditions, it’s me. I’m not going to make a political decision today that affects somebody’s sister or father because I wouldn’t do it to myself.”
He finished by saying that, "In the end, we've got to make sure there's enough funding out there to handle pre-existing conditions and drive down premiums. And if we can't do those three things, then we will have failed."
While it's great that Meadows now seems to be looking at Trumpcare from a more educated standpoint, it's also too late. Under his leadership, the House Freedom Caucus pushed for Trumpcare to pass the House of Representatives. The caucus did press for an amendment to provide further funding for those with pre-existing conditions before they would endorse the bill, however there was substantial evidence prior to the final vote that the $8 billion allocated would be nowhere near enough to cover the Americans that need help.
Honestly, its hard to have sympathy for Meadows. In fact, his tears are infuriating. He (and other Republicans) voted on a bill that would impact millions of Americans, and it seems he did so without fully understanding what he was voting for. It's not only stupid, it's incompetent, irresponsible, and it could very well cost American's their lives.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters