Former Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray vowed to be Donald Trump’s “willing partner” and most loyal ally when he jumped in the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District. So it was surprising to see him distance himself from the House GOP healthcare plan that Trump supported.
In a statement on Facebook, Gray said the proposal was “not quite the ‘repeal and replace’ plan I was expecting” from Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders.
“Repealing and replacing a government program as flawed as Obamacare is no easy task,” he said. “Nevertheless, when you take a Band-Aid off, the best way to do it is by quickly ripping it off.”
Trump gave the plan his full-throated endorsement on Tuesday, and CNN reported that he told House Republicans he supports it “100 percent” while warning of electoral calamity if it fails to pass.
Gray is one of 11 Republicans – and 18 candidates overall – in the April 18 race to replace former Rep. Tom Price. The race is the most competitive contest since Trump’s inauguration, and an early test of his popularity. Republican candidates range from staunch supporters to others who barely mention his name.
A Gray spokesman said it wasn’t a break with Trump but a cry for the House to develop a “more conservative option.” We’ll have more from other leading candidates competing to represent the suburban Atlanta district this week as well.
Here’s Gray’s entire Facebook post:
“While the House GOP Obamacare replacement plan is a step in the right direction, it’s not quite the “repeal and replace” plan I was expecting from our House GOP Leadership.
“Repealing and replacing a government program as flawed as Obamacare is no easy task. Nevertheless, when you take a Band-Aid off, the best way to do it is by quickly ripping it off.
“As a free market conservative, I strongly believe there is a lot more we can do to ensure that our replacement plan restores the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship by getting government out of the way. When government gets out of the way, we always see the private sector generate solutions at lower costs while offering more choice and greater quality.
“I hope our House GOP Leadership gives this replacement plan another go in an open and transparent redraft that fosters choice and competition. The American people voted for change in November by electing President Trump. It’s time for Congress to now deliver to the American people the change they asked for – the change that was promised to them.”