Local lawmakers react to House passing AHCA - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Local lawmakers react to House passing AHCA

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
(WTOL) -

House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act Wednesday afternoon, aimed at replacing the Affordable Care Act.

The measure passed by only a few votes, with all democrats and a few moderate Republican hold-outs voting against the bill.

House OKs GOP health bill, a step toward Obamacare repeal

Lawmakers on both sides reacted to the bill's passing. Some felt it was a triumph of the new administration while others considered it a step-back for America.

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) was among the 217 House Republicans to vote for the bill. He released the following statement:

“It’s very evident that Obamacare is failing the American people, and its problems continue to grow. Just yesterday, more than 70,000 Iowans found out they might not have a single insurer to purchase insurance from on their exchanges next year. Last year, more than 5.5 million people decided to pay an IRS penalty instead of purchasing insurance they can’t afford. The promises of Obamacare have been thoroughly broken, and the problems it has foisted on hardworking families can’t be ignored. Constituents in my district have told me about skyrocketing premiums, difficultly using their insurance, and the lack of choices they face thanks to Obamacare. Out of the 14 counties I represent, four are facing a reality where there won’t be a single insurer available on the exchanges, and another five counties will most likely only have one insurer available.

“The AHCA keeps in place protections for pre-existing conditions while giving states more flexibility to improve their health care marketplaces and bring down the cost of insurance. At the same time, the bill repeals Obamacare’s burdensome mandates and costly taxes that hurt Ohio families and small businesses, and it establishes a Patient and State Stability Fund that will provide funding to states so they can implement policies that work best for their citizens. The legislation also makes needed reforms to the Medicaid program while ensuring a stable transition during the implementation of the AHCA.

“Our health care system desperately needs rescuing from the disaster that is Obamacare, and that’s why I voted to pass the American Health Care Act and provide much needed relief for Ohioans.” 

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was one of the 213 votes against the bill. She released the following statement:

“It is shameful that Republican leaders in Congress are ramming through this bill before the American people, or Congress, can even read it.  

“So intent to fulfill a campaign ruse and reward insurance companies again, House Republicans are lurching ahead without even waiting for the nonpartisan experts at the Congressional Budget Office to tell us the real costs of the bill.

“This legislation will impact every single person in this country and without this vital analysis, it is uncertain how this proposal would impact Ohio, where we have successfully expanded coverage to 900,000 individuals.

“TrumpCare part two is the same bill it was before, a giant tax cut for the rich at the expense of 24 million people who would lose their insurance. Except for this time, they are gutting critical consumer protections like the ban on dropping coverage because of pre-existing conditions. The American people need a helping hand and this bill is a slap in the face.”

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is among the U.S. Senators vowing to fight the bill when it reaches the Senate floor.

“I agree with Governor Kasich: we cannot allow Washington politicians with taxpayer-funded health insurance to rip coverage away from Ohioans who are battling cancer, getting regular checkups for the first time or finally getting treatment for their opioid addiction

This bill threatens the healthcare coverage of nearly 1 million Ohioans, including 200,000 currently battling addiction, and allows companies to jack up prices on people with preexisting conditions like asthma and diabetes. This bill is heartless, it is bad for Ohio, and it will leave real Ohioans struggling to afford care. Instead of taking care away, we should be working to reduce the price of prescription drugs and improve care for everyone.”

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) says he does not support the House bill, but says it is a step-forward in replacing the Affordable Car Act:

“The status quo on health care is unsustainable.  Premiums and deductibles continue their steep climb, and the skyrocketing cost of health care is hurting Ohio families and small businesses.  There’s only one insurance company in more than one third of Ohio counties, which is leaving Ohioans with fewer choices and higher costs.  Congress must take responsible action that lowers health care costs, but these changes must be made in a way that does not leave people behind.

“I’ve already made clear that I don’t support the House bill as currently constructed because I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Ohio's Medicaid expansion population, especially those who are receiving treatment for heroin and prescription drug abuse.  We have an opioid crisis in this country, and I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues on solutions that ensure that those who are impacted by this epidemic can continue to receive treatment.” 

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