(By Staff Reports)
McMorris Rodgers only Washington representative to vote yes on bill…
Republicans passed an overhaul to much of Obamacare by a 217-213 vote on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives. All Democrats in the house voted no, while 217 Republicans voted yes and 20 voted no. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was the only member from the state of WA to vote yes as eight of the state’s 10 house members – including two republicans – voted no.
According to the Associated Press, the bill – the American Health Care Act – would eliminate tax penalties on people who don’t buy coverage and take away tax increases on higher earning people and the health industry. The bill also cuts Medicaid for low-income people and states could impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. The ACHA changes subsidies for millions buying insurance into tax credits that get higher with age – based on income and premium costs. The bill also retains the requirement that family policies cover children until age 26.
States can also get waivers from other Obamacare requirements including what to charge people with pre-existing illnesses compared to healthy customers, and increase prices with the age of the customer. The bill would block funding to Planned Parenthood for a year as well, the AP reports.
“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,” U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement after the vote. “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.”
In the statement, McMorris Rodgers also re-affirmed her support for people with pre-existing conditions.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in March that the GOP bill presented them would cut coverage for 24 million people in 10 years. A CBO estimate for the cost and impact of the latest bill was not ready before the House vote, the AP reported.
Part of the bill adds $8 billion over five years to state high-risk pools which would be aimed at helping the seriously ill cover costs. The AP added that the $8 billion would be added to another $130 billion already in the bill to help customers.
Two Washington Republican reps – Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dave Reichert each voted against the plan.
Democrats sang the song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” to GOP lawmakers near the end of the voting, suggesting that the party will pay come election time. Chants of “Shame, shame, shame” by people popped up after House GOP members walked out of the capital.
The bill now moves to the senate where it’s fate is less set in stone. There could also be more changes made to the bill before a vote.
“Let’s be very, very clear: Trumpcare is headed straight to a dead-end here in the Senate,” WA Senator (D) Patty Murray said.
In another tweet Murray said “House GOP just passed an even worse version of same #Trumpcare bill that families rejected three weeks ago – just to give Trump a political win.”
McMorris Rodgers tweeted today “Today is historic. With the #AHCA, the House voted to keep its promise to the American people.”