Representative Poliquin, whose vote this week against repealing Obamacare provoked backlash among grassroots conservatives, has worked to explain his controversial position.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives held its 56th vote to repeal Obamacare, which marked the first time any Republicans broke with Republican leadership on this issue. Poliquin, along with two other Republicans, voted against repealing the law.
In a Facebook post, Poliquin explained that while he strongly opposed Obamacare, he could not support its repeal without a viable, Republican alternative.
“I did not come to Congress to prolong the status quo,” said Poliquin. “If Congress fully repeals ObamaCare, it must be fully prepared to replace it with a free-market alternative that requires health care plans to cover pre-existing conditions and be portable for workers changing jobs.”
However, not everyone agreed with Poliquin’s reasoning.
John Tate, President of Campaign for Liberty, claimed that Poliquin had pledged in a campaign survey to “support and cast every vote for legislation that will repeal or defund ObamaCare?”
“How long will it take him to break his other campaign promises?” said Tate. “Campaign for Liberty will be sure to let the citizens of Maine know how little Congressman Poliquin thinks of the promises he made to them.”
Similarly, the Republican Liberty Caucus voted yesterday to rescind their endorsement of the Maine congressman. “We are both stunned and disappointed by Rep. Poliquin’s vote,” said Matt Nye, the caucus’ chairman.
In a video released yesterday, Poliquin announced his intention to maintain his opposition to Obamacare, while focusing on alternative solutions. Poliquin expressed tentative support for a Republican alternative to Obamacare, spearheaded by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) While not endorsing anything yet, Poliquin pointed to the proposal as an important step forward in replacing Obamacare.
“ObamaCare has demonstrated that government run health care drives up monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles while limiting the choice of doctors and hospitals to care for our families,” said Poliquin. “A free market alternative that ends the expensive ObamaCare mandates will help our small businesses grow and hire more workers.”