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Congressman McCarthy makes pitch for American Health Care Act

Congressman Kevin McCarthy speaks to Eyewitness News via satellite on Thursday, March 16, 2017, from Washington, D.C.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, on Thursday pitched the American Health Care Act as a way to lower insurance premiums, help small business and put Medicaid on a path to sustainability.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week issued a report about the Obamacare replacement. In its summary, the CBO forecasts that the Republican plan will help lower the federal budget deficit and lower the average cost of health insurance, but would also result in millions more Americans going without health insurance.

McCarthy, speaking to Eyewitness News via satellite from Washington, pitched the plan as a boon for workers who were laid off or who saw working hours reduced when Obamacare imposed an insurance mandate on businesses with 50 or more full-time employees. Under the law, 30 hours a week is considered full time.

Citing figures that place the future cost of Medicaid -- referred to as Medi-Cal in California -- at $1 trillion a year, McCarthy said measures must be taken to curb federal entitlement spending.

He said the Republican alternative represents the best chance to save the federal safety net program for the nation's poor.

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