Gov. Charlie Baker staked out a clear position on the American Health Care Act late Thursday night.
"House delay on AHCA vote is good news. Means concerns raised by Govs fr/both parties & others are being heard. This version should not pass," Baker tweeted at 10 p.m.
On Thursday afternoon, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette asked Baker about the bill and what he might do differently if he were involved in crafting it. Baker said, "I don't really like it when people who don't have my job try to tell me how to do it. So I'm unlikely to try to tell them how to do theirs."
The bill could surface for a vote in the U.S. House sometime on Friday.
Members of the state's all-Democrat Congressional delegation have been railing against the bill in recent days, urging Congress to reject it and asserting it will leave millions of people uninsured and decimate state budgets by removing Medicaid funding supports.
"Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. This bill is an age tax, plain and simple. And Republicans are cutting $880 billion from Medicaid! That's a 25 percent cut in funding," Congressman James McGovern of Worcester said on Thursday.
Supporters of the bill say it will reduce the federal deficit and give American consumers more affordable options than are available under the Affordable Care Act.
"Millions of Americans have lost access to the health plans and doctors of their choice. Out-of-pocket costs are skyrocketing. And free-market competition in health care has all but disappeared," Texas Rep. Kevin Brady said Wednesday. "With the American Health Care Act, we have the best opportunity in seven years to repeal this collapsing law, clear the deck, and begin our step-by-step process to deliver a health care system that truly works for the American people."
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning, "After seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!"
Without taking a position on the bill, Baker this week wrote a letter to members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in which he estimated the act sponsored by leaders of his Republican party in Washington would result in $1 billion less in federal revenue for Massachusetts in 2020, $1.3 billion less in 2021 and $1.5 billion in 2022, "with likely a greater annual impact in the years that follow."
"Overall, our analysis indicates that the AHCA would increasingly strain the fiscal resources necessary to support the Commonwealth's continued commitment to universal health care coverage. I hope this information is helpful to you as Congress takes up the American Health Care Act," Baker wrote.
During his press briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, "This bill has truly been a collaborative effort from the beginning. Through an open and deliberative process, the President and his team have helped to negotiate a very, very strong bill. He was on the phone last night well into the 11 o'clock hour with members on an individual basis, discussing their support for the bill."