The House passed the GOP's bill erasing much of Obama's health care law, answering a campaign pledge and sending the measure to the Senate Thursday.
Local political leaders from Washington and Idaho released statements regarding the decision.
Governor Jay Inslee
“Today is a shameful day in American history. Republicans in Congress have voted to strip health care coverage from over 700,000 Washingtonians, and to remove the guarantee that all Americans cannot be denied coverage or charged more because they have a pre-existing condition. Their actions today threaten the health and financial security of millions of American families and undermine our health insurance markets, resulting in likely premium spikes. We have made great progress in Washington state's health care system through bipartisan work and support, yet Congress is now threatening to throw it all away in favor of poorly-conceived partisan legislation.
“I am proud that eight members of Washington's House delegation - two Republicans and all six Democrats - voted against this bill for the harm it would cause our state. I urge the United States Senate to reject the legislation passed today in the House, and I urge Washingtonians to continue making their voices heard as Congress considers taking our country in the wrong direction.”
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (5th Congressional District)
“Seven years ago, I stood on the floor of the House and watched Obamacare pass. I will never forget the feeling -- watching as, with each vote cast, the American people’s freedoms were slipping away. Republicans were powerless to stop the impending wave of expensive, burdensome policy. The already failing status quo in health care was about to get so much worse. Unfortunately, our biggest fears came true. Obamacare, though well-intentioned, failed its goals and failed in its promises. Since that moment, we’ve been on a rescue mission.
“Today is historic. With the American Health Care Act, the House voted to keep its promise to the American people: we’re going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a health care system that puts them -- not the federal government -- in control of their health care decisions. After marathon markups, listening to feedback from doctors and patients and advocates, and tough conversations with our colleagues, we came together to ensure this bill that will improve lives. I’m very proud of our work, and of the leadership of my colleagues who have been working on these reforms for years.
“My top priority throughout this process has been protecting people with pre-existing conditions and giving them peace of mind to know that they have access to care. The American Health Care Act guarantees that access to health insurance coverage can’t be denied for people with pre-existing conditions, and empowers states to innovate with new models for better patient outcomes at a lower cost with the Patient and State Stability Fund.
“For the millions of Americans who have been struggling to find affordable, reliable health care coverage, or had one -- or no -- option in health care providers, this is a victory. Our work on reforms to the health care marketplace will continue. This was only one part of our three-part process to repeal and replace Obamacare. In parts two and three, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. will make reforms through his authority, and we will work on common sense reforms -- like being able to purchase insurance across state lines -- to help lower costs and increase access. We are committed to achieving a better health care future for every American.”
Senator Patty Murray
"I’m appalled by the action taken today in the House to jam Trumpcare through, regardless of the extraordinary harm it would do to patients and families. House Republicans just voted for an even worse version of the same Trumpcare bill that people across the country rejected only weeks ago. They voted to raise premiums and undo protections for people with pre-existing conditions, take coverage away from tens of millions of people, end Medicaid as we know it, cut off access to critical health care services at Planned Parenthood, and more—all while giving insurance companies and the very wealthy massive tax breaks. They may think they delivered a political win for President Trump today, but let’s be clear: Trumpcare is headed straight to a dead-end here in the Senate, because women and families nationwide are going to fight back harder than ever against this disastrous bill and Democrats are going to be standing with them every step of the way.”
House GOP just passed an even worse version of same #Trumpcare bill that families rejected 3 weeks ago—just to give Trump a political win.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) May 4, 2017
Congressman Raul Labrador (1st Congressional District)
“All across Idaho, families and small business owners are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing health care costs caused by Obamacare. The people of Idaho know Obamacare is a disaster and want it fully repealed. Since I was first elected to Congress, I’ve been working to repeal Obamacare and that includes opposing the first version of the American Health Care Act.
“Over the last few months, I have been working to improve the AHCA, joining with my colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus. We have negotiated legislation that keeps our promise to the American people to lower health care costs while also protecting those with pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, unlike the first version of AHCA, our bill showed it had enough support to actually pass the House.
“The bill we passed today strikes down Obamacare’s prohibition on less expensive health care plans and the knot of insurance regulations and mandates that are making health coverage so unaffordable. Meanwhile, it sets up a national $130 billion invisible high-risk pool to help offset the cost for those with pre-existing conditions.
“The Democrats keep insisting the AHCA will eliminate coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. That’s not true, and it’s not the first time the Democrats haven’t told the truth about Obamacare. When they said Obamacare would lower health insurance premiums, it wasn’t true. When they said ‘if you like your health care plan, you can keep your plan,’ it wasn’t true. When they said Obamacare would lower out-of-pocket expenses, it wasn’t true. If they didn’t tell the truth about everything else, why should anyone believe them now about pre-existing conditions?
“Our work is far from done, however. We need to fully repeal Obamacare and I remain committed to doing that. Today’s bill is the best way to eventually get there.”
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