48 House members representing Bush-Obama counties voted for the notorious bill that critics say could send health care into a historic state of disaster. Why did they do it?
Read their full statements below:
Paul Cook (R)
Congressional District: 8, California
Bush-Obama County in District — San Bernardino
As of May 5th, Cook had not released an official statement.
Steve Knight (R)
Congressional District: 25, California
Bush-Obama County in District — Ventura
As of May 5th, Knight had not released an official statement.
Ed Royce (R)
Congressional District: 39, California
Bush-Obama County in District — San Bernadino
“Under current law, Southern Californians are paying more and more for fewer choices. Too many families are struggling with premiums that are out of control. And things are only getting worse.
“That’s why I voted today to move the reform process forward. This bill, while far from perfect, is a step toward lowering costs, protecting those with pre-existing conditions and expanding choices for everyone. As we continue this important work, I will continue to listen to my constituents and fight for solutions that protect our most vulnerable.”
Darrell Issa (R)
Congressional District: 49, California
Bush-Obama County in District — San Diego
“Today, we made good on our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Let’s stop pretending Obamacare is going to fix itself or that somehow, someday, it’s going to get better. Today’s vote gives a voice to the victims of Obamacare, the millions of Americans who are paying higher premiums, receiving less coverage and for whom the status quo offered no end in sight. Obamacare is doing real harm to California’s families and struggling businesses, and constituents are counting on me to deliver real relief. Obamacare was a failure from the get-go. Now is the time to make it right.”
Dennis Ross (R)
Congressional District: 15, Florida
Bush-Obama County in District — Hillsborough
“After seven long years, Americans across Florida and the entire nation can breathe a sigh of relief today because we fulfilled our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. By working with President Trump and uniting to pass the AHCA, we are putting patients first and ending an era of skyrocketing premiums, massive tax hikes and burdensome mandates and penalties.
“Obamacare has kicked 4.7 million Americans off of their healthcare plans, and in Florida alone, premiums are expected to increase by 19 percent this year. Insurance providers are fleeing the exchange left and right, with major providers, like Medica and Aetna, announcing just this week they are withdrawing from Iowa and Virginia, leaving families with little to no choices. This death spiral is hitting hard nationwide, but we put an end to it today.
“The AHCA will kick bureaucrats out of doctors’ offices and put patients back in charge of their own healthcare decisions. It will lower premiums and eliminate the individual and employer mandates that are crushing small businesses and families. My vote today prevents insurers from denying patients coverage for pre-existing conditions, allows children up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans, and provides a seamless transition so no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
“Additionally, as a Christian, father and staunch defender of life, I am proud the AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, by blocking more than $500 million of taxpayer dollars. This has the strong support of the National Right to Life Committee, which has awarded me a perfect 100 percent rating.
“We will continue to work with the Trump Administration to further stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs for all Americans and families. I encourage the Senate to quickly take up and pass the AHCA so President Trump can finally sign into law the repeal of Obamacare, and we can provide Americans relief and access to affordable plans they need and prefer. After seven years, we are finally putting patients first.”
Jody Hice (R)
Congressional District: 10, Georgia
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Baldwin, Newton
“Hardworking Americans can no longer bear the high cost of health care in our country, and the time for relief is now. The AHCA promotes policies that will lower health care premiums, stabilize the insurance markets, improve the quality of care, and increase consumer choice, while continuing to provide affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
“The AHCA is not perfect, but repairing the damage of Obamacare, lowering costs, and protecting people with pre-existing conditions is critical to the future of this country, and this legislation is a strong first step. The latest amendment, which dedicates an additional $8 billion to reduce costs for patients with pre-existing conditions, strengthens that commitment. Today’s passage of the AHCA is only the beginning of a long legislative process to fully repeal Obamacare and its harmful policies, which have proven to be disastrous for our health care system. I am proud to be at the forefront of this fight and follow through on the promises we’ve made to the American people.”
Raúl Labrador (R)
Congressional District: 1, Idaho
Bush-Obama County in District — Latah
“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.”
Peter Roskam (R)
Congressional District: 6, Illinois
Bush-Obama Counties in District — DuPage, Kane, Lake
Obamacare has failed
- Premiums are skyrocketing (more than 20% in Illinois this year alone) and insurance companies are dropping out across the country
- In 3 of the 5 counties that comprise the Sixth District of Illinois, there is only one insurance provider left on the Obamacare exchange
- Nearly the entire state of Iowa (94 of 99 counties) will be without any insurance provider on the exchange next year
- Obamacare has already failed – if we do nothing, insurers will continue to exit the marketplace and millions of people will lose coverage
The AHCA will responsibly replace Obamacare
- The AHCA provides generous tax credits to people who don’t get coverage at work or have access to Medicare or Medicaid
- It introduces competition and choice into the marketplace to bring down costs and improve access to care
- The bill reforms Medicaid and provides more than $100 billion to help states provide coverage for those who cannot afford it
Pre-existing conditions will be protected
- Under no circumstances can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition
- Even if a state obtains a waiver to set up an alternative system, anyone who maintains continuous coverage cannot lose his or her health care
- States that set up their own system to deal with the high cost of coverage must implement high-risk pools and other protections
- The bill allocates additional funding to help people who do not maintain continuous coverage
Members of Congress/Staff will be subject to the same rules
- Members of Congress and congressional staff will be subject to the same rules as everyone else
- Technicalities prevented this provision from being included in the same bill
- At the same time as the AHCA vote, the House passed a bill to make sure there is absolutely no exemption for Members of Congress or staff
Adam Kinzinger (R)
Congressional District: 16, Illinois
Bush-Obama Counties in District — DeKalb, Will, Winnebago
“We cannot wait any longer to bring relief to the American people suffering under Obamacare. In Illinois, premiums have gone up more than 40%. Across the country, outrageous deductibles and fewer provider choices are commonplace under Obamacare.
“The so-called ‘Affordable Care’ Act, Obamacare, has had a damaging effect on patient care, insurance coverage and our economy. Today I voted to repeal and replace Obamacare, just as the American people asked for on Election Day. The AHCA puts patients back in charge of their own healthcare, and includes several layers of protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
“This legislation has several steps to go before it becomes law and we have many improvements to make. But today, I acted to move this healthcare reform forward to make real progress for my constituents and our country.”
Luke Messer (R)
Congressional District: 6, Illinois
Bush-Obama County in District — Delaware
“Today is an exciting day for those of us who have been working and fighting to end Obamacare’s reign over this country,” Messer said. “After six years of promises to Hoosiers, we are moving forward to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something far better. This is a step away from more government control of our healthcare and our day-to-day lives, and a return to freedom for all Americans.”
Messer said the American Health Care Act aims to drive down health care costs and increase options for Hoosiers, while keeping protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
“This bill will make a big difference in the lives of countless Hoosiers who have faced skyrocketing premiums, fewer choices and worse coverage under Obamacare,” Messer said. “Despite the rhetoric, this bill keeps protections for those with pre-existing conditions, which is exactly what we promised we would do.”
Larry Bucshon (R)
Congressional District: 8, Illinois
Bush-Obama County in District — Vigo
“Obamacare is collapsing and leaving millions of Americans with nowhere to turn as their premiums skyrocket by 25 percent on average and insurers drop out of the market place. Families have been hit with higher costs and limited choice under this government-mandated, one-size-fits-all system. It would be irresponsible for us to not act to provide them relief. Today’s vote moves us forward on the path to repealing and replacing Obamacare. The American Health Care Act puts patients back in charge of their healthcare decisions, helps drive down costs and expand access to care for everyone, and maintains critical patient protections like coverage for preexisting conditions. Thanks to President Trump, Vice President Pence, and my colleagues in the House for their hard work on this bill that fulfills the promises we made to the American people.”
Rod Blum (R)
Congressional District: 1, Iowa
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Allamakee, Bremer, Marshall
“Obamacare is collapsing. In Iowa the two largest insurers have already announced their departure from the market, and the third and final insurer is on the verge of leaving as well. This could leave over 70,000 Iowans with zero options for health insurance – it’s clear that something needs to be done.
The AHCA will stabilize the market, lower premiums for Iowans, increase choices, reduce taxes, and protect people who have pre-existing conditions. I withheld my support – against the wishes of my own party – until changes were made to ensure that premiums would come down and that we would take care of those who need help by setting aside over $120 billion to assist citizens with pre-existing conditions. After years of higher costs, fewer choices and broken promises under Obamacare, it’s time to enact a better system that actually works for Americans.”
Andy Barr (R)
Congressional District: 6, Kentucky
Bush-Obama County in District — Fayette
“Today is a great day for freedom in America,” said Congressman Barr. “After seven years of broken promises, lost coverage, skyrocketing premiums, thousands of pages of regulations, tax penalties, collapsing co-ops, fewer jobs, and state exchanges which are now in a death spiral of fewer choices and rising costs – the House of Representatives has taken a critical step in the process that will finally repeal and replace Obamacare. And we have done so in a way that provides multiple layers of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
“Since I first ran for Congress, I promised the people of the Sixth District that I would vote to repeal this broken law and replace it with reforms that will actually lower costs and expand access to care through patient-centered, market-based reforms. The American Health Care Act accomplishes these goals and more. It delivers the most important reforms to an entitlement program in American history, it cuts taxes by nearly $1 trillion, it protects life and redirects funds from Planned Parenthood to Community Health Centers, and it returns power from the federal government to the states and the people.”
Garret Graves (R)
Congressional District: 6, Louisiana
Bush-Obama County in District — East Baton Rouge
As of May 5th, Graves had not released an official statement.
Bruce Poliquin (R)
Congressional District: 2, Maine
Bush-Obama County in District — Washington
“In the last 48 hours my father suffered a stroke and I had to rush back home from Washington to help him. My own son has an asthma condition—a pre-existing condition. I’ve seen health care up close. We need to do the best job we possibly can when it comes to health care so Maine people get the care they need.”
“I have studied this health care issue carefully with one thing in mind: the People of Maine. I do not work for the Democrats, Republicans, or Washington bosses—I work only for the People of Maine and my focus has been solely on the Maine people.
“Maine is in a unique position in this debate. Many people may not know that Maine, and specifically our own bipartisan health reforms at the State Legislature, have become the core model of this new health care legislation, which includes some of Maine’s models for welfare reforms as well.
“With bipartisan Maine reforms at the center of this new bill, and with Maine having ensured essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions are covered under state laws, I have decided to vote yes on this health care legislation.
“Under Maine’s 2011 bipartisan reforms, those with pre-existing conditions were covered at the same cost as everyone else, with guaranteed coverage. Maine also ensures EHB’s, essential benefits, are always in place through a series of laws confirmed by Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance. I am confident that even if Maine State Government sought a waiver not only would Maine people have essential benefits but pre-existing conditions would fully covered. Our state has already proven it—and our state has proven it can dramatically lower some health insurance premiums and stem the tide of rising costs with its reforms. It has worked in Maine.
“I expect the U.S. Senate to make further changes to this bill as it moves on from the House and I welcome those changes. I hope it comes back stronger and better. This simply moves this issue on to the Senate.
“ObamaCare is failing, and Congress must act to rescue American families.
“We were told, under ObamaCare, if we like our health insurance plan and doctor, we could keep them. We were also told the cost of insurance would drop by about $2,500 per year. Tens of thousands of Mainers switched from their plan at work or were forced to get ObamaCare policies.
“However, the monthly premiums and annual deductibles for these ObamaCare policyholders have skyrocketed. And, premiums—right here in Maine—are going up another 14-26% this year. Families are paying a fortune and sometimes never even using their ObamaCare coverage, because deductibles are so high. Instead, they oftentimes choose to pay a fine to the IRS rather than accept an ObamaCare plan.
“There are only three insurance providers which offer ObamaCare policies in Maine. One of them, Community Health Options in Lewiston lost $58 million last year. Two weeks ago, Anthem announced it would stop offering Maine ObamaCare policies in January if the failing law isn’t changed.
“ObamaCare is failing. We must work to fix this dire situation.
“There are powerful special interest groups in Augusta and Washington trying to scare us into doing nothing. They say if we change the imploding ObamaCare law, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.
“Families are already losing coverage because their plans have been cancelled by insurance providers. The special interests say those approaching retirement and the poor won’t be able to afford health insurance if ObamaCare is changed. That’s not true. They can’t afford it now due to high deductibles and increasing premiums.
“If the few providers in Maine offering ObamaCare go under or pull out due to continued massive financial losses, we will have no ObamaCare policies in Maine at all. That is not acceptable.
“I was elected to Congress to fix our serious problems. That’s exactly what I’m doing. If we don’t fix this ObamaCare problem, it’s going to get worse.
“In Congress, I will continue to push hard to find important solutions to the dire health care problems and challenges for Mainers. ObamaCare is failing and Congress must act to fix it.”
Jack Bergman (R)
Congressional District: 1, Michigan
Bush-Obama County in District — Delta
“Back in March, I promised to keep fighting against health care collapse, and today, the House took an affirmative step to deliver on that promise.
“The American Healthcare Act (AHCA) as amended puts health care decisions back in the hands of patients and providers and offers real, choice-based alternatives to Obamacare’s failures. Further, this legislation reaffirms our commitment to protecting people with pre-existing conditions by maintaining that states may not, under any circumstances, waive guaranteed issue of coverage, guaranteed renewability of coverage, or the prohibition against denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
“People in the First District deserve access to high quality care—there’s no question about it. This is the first step in making sure they have that access. This vote is about helping Michiganders manage the unreasonable cost of health care and providing high quality care to every American who wants and needs it.”
John Moolenaar (R)
Congressional District: 4, Michigan
Bush-Obama County in District — Shiawassee
“Today, I voted to keep the promise I made to the voters of my district to rescue Americans from the collapsing health care law that has raised premiums and deductibles and replace it with a better health care system.
“The American Health Care Act is a patient-centered solution that will give Michigan residents more health care choices that are best for them and their family. It includes protections and $138 billion in support for Americans who have preexisting conditions and it allows young adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health care.
“It also reforms Medicaid so states have resources to continue caring for individuals the program was meant to protect – children, seniors, and the disabled – for decades to come, and it gives states the flexibility to focus on how to best meet the needs of their own residents.
“This new patient-centered legislation will offer hardworking Michigan residents more health care choices and a stronger safety net that is an improvement over the failed health care law that has limited choices and sent premiums and deductibles soaring across the country.”
Fred Upton (R)
Congressional District: 6, Michigan
Bush-Obama County in District — Van Buren
“We know that Obamacare is broken. One out of three counties across the country have only one insurance provider and it looks like it will only get worse as others are on the verge of pulling the plug. Nearly two dozen of the non-profit co-ops have gone belly up. Here in Michigan folks saw their premiums increased by nearly 17 percent. Some forecast a 40-to-50 percent rate increase if nothing happens.
“High premiums, lack of access, rising costs. These don’t just impact Republicans or Democrats. They impact us all. The status quo is simply unacceptable.
“Our legislation is a first step in the right direction to ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable healthcare. We expand and enhance Health Savings Accounts. We provide a reasonable transition until 2020 for those on the Medicaid expansion and then grandfather all those folks until they’re off. We help young adults stay on their parents insurance until they’re 26. We provide a monthly tax credit for low and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or government program.
“We also protect those with pre-existing conditions. I told the president directly this week that I would not support this bill as written without a fix. He took the challenge and we walked him through the problems and potential solutions. Covering those with pre-existing conditions is of the utmost importance to me. Our bill already ensures that insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Our amendment further protects people from the financial impact associated with having a pre-existing condition.
“No, this process has not been perfect. I have heard from many on both sides of this debate. I pledge to continue listening and will be a constructive partner in making our healthcare system work better for all Americans.”
Tim Walberg (R)
Congressional District: 7, Michigan
Bush-Obama County in District — Eaton
“Obamacare is on the brink of collapse and has failed to live up to its many promises. Families and small businesses are facing skyrocketing premiums and insurers are dropping out of the marketplaces leaving behind fewer options. One-third of the counties in the United States only have one insurance provider to choose from and some counties have no choice at all. We told our constituents we would fix the mess Obamacare created, and this legislation is an important step towards undoing the damage and providing relief. It moves power away from Washington, gives flexibility to states, and puts doctors and patients at the center of their health care decisions. It brings back choice and competition, drives down costs, and provides protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. As this bill heads to the Senate, we must continue working on solutions to rescue families from a rapidly collapsing health care system.”
Jason Lewis (R)
Congressional District: 2, Minnesota
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Dakota, Washington
“Today the House Budget Committee passed the first step towards returning health care choices to families in Minnesota’s 2nd District. I’m proud to be keeping my promise to start real health care reform. The American Health Care Act is about lowering premiums, giving universal access to quality care, and letting the patient choose a plan that works, not the plan government thinks they should have. I look forward to continuing to work for all the Minnesotans who have been hit so hard by Obamacare.”
Trent Kelly (R)
Congressional District: 1, Mississippi
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Chickasaw, Oktibbeha
As of May 5th, Kelly had not released an official statement.
Steve Pearce (R)
Congressional District: 2, New Mexico
Bush-Obama County in District — Valencia
“When the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was passed, it promised the American people lower health care premiums, affordability, more choices, and greater access to care. The reality is, Obamacare failed to deliver on these promises. In New Mexico this means individuals are forced to purchase insurance they either didn’t like, didn’t need, or couldn’t afford. People, families, and small businesses face soaring costs, shrinking access, dwindling choices, and rising taxes. In fact, nationwide, Obamacare is failing more and more every day. Of the 23 co-ops established under the bill, 16 are bankrupt and now closed.
While today’s bill is in no way perfect, it is a step in the right direction. New Mexicans deserve a 21st century health care system based on what they need and want, not what Washington thinks is best for them. The bill passed in the House today will put the power back into the states’ hands so they can decide what is best for their unique populations and will provide care for everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions, those in high-risk pools, and children who wish to continue being covered under their parent’s plans.
For years, I’ve listened to the concerns of New Mexicans who have been negatively affected by Obamacare. I have met with local health care networks, insurance providers, and medical professionals on effective solutions to improve the health care industry in New Mexico. My decision on today’s health care bill, as with all bills, came down to its overall impact on the lives of the New Mexican people. This is a step-by-step approach, of which this is merely the first. I will continue to work in Congress and with leadership to ensure the priorities of New Mexico are represented.”
John Faso (R)
Congressional District: 19, New York
Bush-Obama County in District — Otsego
“After careful review of the changes to the American Health Care Act, I believe that this legislation addresses my concerns and I will support the AHCA as amended.”
Elise Stefanik (R)
Congressional District: 21, New York
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Essex, Saratoga, Warren, Washington
As of May 5th, Stefanik had not released an official statement.
Claudia Tenney (R)
Congressional District: 22, New York
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Cortland, Madison, Oswego
“Upstate New Yorkers deserve health care options that empower them, their families and their doctors while preserving coverage protections and peace of mind. Under Obamacare, Americans across the country have lost access to the affordable, quality health care they deserve.
Patients have been hurt, doctors have been burdened, and our families and taxpayers are being crushed by this terrible law and its thousands of pages of onerous, unworkable regulations. Our most vulnerable citizens– seniors, hardworking middle-class families and veterans – are in worse shape now than they were before.
As Obamacare teeters on the brink of collapse, marketplaces in states across the nation continue to flee the exchanges, leaving patients with limited choices and unaffordable coverage options. For a number of families across the 22nd District, premiums are higher than a house payment and deductibles are a third of a year’s salary, while families are left helpless as their insurance plans are abruptly cancelled without notice. Our families did not sign up for this.
Although the American Health Care Act is not a perfect piece of legislation, it is the first step in a comprehensive process to bring choice, affordability, and quality back to health care.
The bill eliminates the individual and employer mandates, which have forced too many Americans to purchase plans they do not want, while burdening our local employers with costly mandates, causing many businesses to close, or lay-off employees.
The American Health Care Act also eliminates harmful taxes imposed by Obamacare that have driven-up costs on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and medical devices. Dismantling these taxes will reduce the burdens on patients, health care providers and our job creators. The bill also provides protections for our most vulnerable, including those with preexisting conditions, while the plan allows young adults to stay on their parents plan until the age of 26.
In an effort to bring tangible tax relief to upstate New York taxpayers for the first time in a generation, I also successfully fought for the inclusion of the Collins-Faso amendment in this final bill. This amendment would relieve Upstate counties of Albany’s egregious and burdensome Medicaid property tax mandate, which costs taxpayers in the 22nd District more than $160 million each year and drives up our local taxes. As a Member of the New York State Assembly, I co-sponsored this bipartisan piece of legislation, and now as a Member of Congress, I am gratified to finally see this initiative pass.
For decades, Albany has forced Upstate counties to bear a disproportionally large share of the state’s Medicaid budget. In 2015, this share amounted to $7.5 billion – seven times more than any other states’ counties contribute. This has caused our property taxes to soar while diverting local money to Albany to subsidize the government’s out-of-control and wasteful spending.
In addition, to ensure that Congress lives by the same standards as the American people and the rules that they legislate, I cosponsored, and voted in favor of, an amendment that would repeal the section of the American Health Care Act that exempts Members of Congress and their staff.
As I said, the final bill is not perfect and there is far more work to be done to get our nation’s health care system to where it should be, but continuing the status quo under Obamacare is unacceptable.
By working through the regulatory and legislative processes, we will continue to improve upon this bill and implement new reforms to increase access to high quality health care services at a price that is truly affordable. Throughout this process, I will continue to listen to the concerns of my constituency and will bring your feedback to Congress.”
Virginia Foxx (R)
Congressional District: 5, North Carolina
Bush-Obama County in District — Forsyth
“For seven long years, families and small businesses have suffered the devastating consequences of Obamacare. Costs are skyrocketing, choices are diminishing, small businesses are struggling, and jobs are being destroyed. That’s what the American people have been forced to live with, and that’s why Republicans promised to provide a better way. We are on a rescue mission, and this vote is an important step in repealing a failed law and delivering free-market, patient-centered solutions.
“Today’s action represents an important moment for our country and a central part of our broader effort to deliver health care relief for working families. Already, the House passed reforms that will empower small businesses to band together to offer working families greater access to affordable health coverage. These are the kind of smart, responsible health care solutions that the American people need, and we are determined to deliver.”
Ted Budd (R)
Congressional District: 13, North Carolina
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Wake, Wilson
“If history is any guide I’ll take around 2,000 votes this Congress. Most of them will be forgotten. This is not one of those votes. This vote marks the beginning of the end of Obamacare as we know it. The failure of that law can be seen in the double-digit premium increases and monopoly situation in the individual insurance market in our state.
Ultimately, the legislative process is a human process with all the flaws that entails. The results of that process are never perfect, and this bill isn’t either. What I believe it will do is significantly reduce insurance premiums in our state, and help put the individual insurance marketplace on a more sound financial footing. This day has been a long time coming, and its cause lies in the determination of millions of Americans to reclaim power over their healthcare from the federal government. I’m proud to support the American Health Care Act.”
Steve Chabot (R)
Congressional District: 1, Ohio
Bush-Obama County in District — Hamilton
“The American people deserve a whole lot better than what they’re currently getting under Obamacare. Premiums have been skyrocketing, deductibles are so high that many people who technically have health care coverage under Obamacare, can’t afford to use it, and insurance companies have been dropping out of the health care exchanges left and right. Quite simply, Obamacare is close to a death spiral, if it’s not already in one.
“The legislation the House passed today is the first step to getting our health care system back on the right path. The House bill takes the power over health care decisions out of the hands of the bureaucrats in Washington and returns it to doctors and patients. Additionally, in the place of one-size-fits-all federal mandates, it gives states the ability, if they choose, to craft health care solutions that work better for local patients, while at the same time guaranteeing that those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health care coverage.”
Brad Wenstrup (R)
Congressional District: 2, Ohio
Bush-Obama County in District — Hamilton
“Thoughtful negotiations have produced a stronger, better bill to begin the extremely challenging process of unwinding Obamacare and addressing the healthcare needs of all Americans. Many voices have been heard and important adjustments made over the past few weeks. As the bill stands now, I support it as a significant step towards a more market-oriented system that will provide patients with more options and make health insurance more affordable for all Americans. As a doctor, I believe it would be malpractice to allow Obamacare to continue to crumble. It’s time to get the ball rolling and send this bill to Senate.”
Jim Jordan (R)
Congressional District: 4, Ohio
Bush-Obama County in District — Sandusky
“The legislation that passed the House today is better because of the intense involvement of conservatives over the past few weeks. While it is not full repeal, it is a crucial first step to fulfilling that promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to make this legislation better and to fulfill our promise to the American people.”
Robert Latta (R)
Congressional District: 5, Ohio
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Ottawa, Wood
“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.”
Scott Perry (R)
Congressional District: 4, Pennsylvania
Bush-Obama County in District — Dauphin
“The Affordable Care Act is broken. Over the last seven years, we’ve seen less choice and skyrocketing costs for basic medical care. Five states and one-third of U.S. counties have one choice for health insurance this year. Premiums are up about 25 percent this year. Hundreds of constituents have shared their stories of how rising costs devastate their families and small businesses,” said Perry.
“For these and other reasons, I made a commitment to the people of my district to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and I have every intention of fulfilling that commitment.”
“While it’s important to recognize the American Health Care Act (AHCA) does not repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, it is a first step, albeit an imperfect one. Recent changes in the AHCA will give states more flexibility to tailor health care policies to meet the specific needs of its citizens and help reduce premium costs over time, while explicitly maintaining protections for those with pre-existing conditions.”
I will support these changes, but will continue my efforts to improve our health care system and lower costs for the hard-working people of the 4th District.”
Lou Barletta (R)
Congressional District: 11, Pennsylvania
Bush-Obama County in District — Dauphin
“As we speak, Obamacare is collapsing. This disaster of a health care law threw people off their preferred plans, eliminated access to their favorite doctors, and on average, increased Pennsylvanians’ premiums by 32 percent. This bill is not the final product, but rather a starting point for a better health care plan that will drive down costs, restore choice, continue protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions so that they cannot be denied coverage, and ensure that Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars go only to American citizens. Today, I also voted to block members of Congress and their staff from receiving any special health care benefits. Sticking the American people with Obamacare was simply not an option, and today we took a necessary step to repair that damage.”
Ted Poe (R)
Congressional District: 2, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Harris
“Seven years ago, President Obama signed Obamacare into law, promising government health care for all, a fraudulent entitlement that he knew could not be delivered. In the years since, the Affordable Care Act has failed and imploded faster than anyone ever imagined. Skyrocketing premiums, lower quality of care and job killing regulations are just a few of the ways Obamacare has burdened individuals and businesses. This law is not sustainable, and doing nothing is not an option, so today we voted to repeal the failing Obamacare system and replace it with one that offers affordable, quality care. This repeal and replace legislation is a step in the right direction with further administrative reforms and separate legislation also needed down the road.
I supported the bill for a number of reasons:
For starters, this bill helps to make premiums affordable for everyone by providing tax credits. Texas has the highest number of uninsured Americans of any state in the nation. Millions of Texans lack health insurance because they either can’t afford to purchase it or they are not covered by an employer. This legislation provides the uninsured with an opportunity to buy health insurance in an affordable way with tax credits if they choose to do so This bill also sets aside $85 billion dollars for the purpose of providing tax credits for Americans over 50 who are not insured by an employer or on Medicaid to help them buy insurance that they may not be able to afford otherwise.
The American Health Care Act empowers individuals to make their own decision on whether or not they want to purchase health insurance. In my opinion, the individual mandate is unconstitutional. This bill removes that. Furthermore, it eliminates the employer mandate, which required employers to purchase health insurance for their workers or pay a penalty and which has forced businesses to not create new jobs, fire employees, or even close their doors.
Contrary to the heated, false rhetoric, this bill protects Americans with pre-existing conditions by ensuring that health insurers cannot deny coverage to people solely because of a pre-existing condition. As a cancer patient myself, I know the importance of this, and I know how important it is for the 27% of Americans with preexisting conditions. The bill also includes a provision that prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums to individuals based on the fact that they have a pre-existing condition. The legislation permits states to apply for a waiver of this prohibition through the Department of Health and Human Services, but only if the state has chosen to offer another coverage option, like risk-sharing pools or reinsurance. No matter what: no person can be charged more money based on a pre-existing condition if they maintain continuous insurance coverage. In fact, the legislation allocates $138 billion for risk-sharing programs which help protect those with preexisting conditions. It also allows young Americans under age 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance plans.
Under Obamacare, the federal government seized the power to determine the ten essential health benefits that insurance companies were mandated to cover. This bill transfers that power to the states, who can apply for an exemption to these mandates if they have a high-risk insurance pool to help ensure coverage for their citizens. It also provides $15 billion in safeguards to cover coverage costs for mental health care, substance abuse, and/or maternity care.
The bill defunds Planned Parenthood and redirects $500 million to community health centers, which are spread across our district and the nation. These centers provide important women’s health and cancer screenings. The bill also expands tax-free health care savings accounts for those with high-deductible insurance plans. It doubles the amount that individuals can contribute to their accounts.
This bill gives Americans the choice over whether or not they buy health care, and it provides extensive resources and financial incentives for them to be able to do so. Obamacare has failed; it is time for a new path forward driven by individuals and their doctors, not politicians in Washington. This bill is the first step forward on that path.”
Jeb Hensarling (R)
Congressional District: 5, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Dallas
As of May 5th, Hensarling had yet to release an official statement.
John Culberson (R)
Congressional District: 7, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Harris
As of May 5th, Culberson had yet to release an official statement.
Kevin Brady (R)
Congressional District: 8, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Harris
As of May 5th, Brady had yet to release an official statement.
Michael McCaul (R)
Congressional District: 10, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Harris
“The choice before me today was clear: vote to continue with the status quo and keep the failing system of Obamacare intact or vote in support of a plan to repeal and replace it. For years, my constituents have asked me to work to repeal and replace Obamacare, and I promised them I would. Today, I kept that promise to my constituents and to the American people.
I ultimately voted in support of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) because it begins to crumble the foundation Obamacare stands on by ending the individual mandate and cutting taxes that have financially burdened hardworking Americans for years. My vote for the AHCA is the first step towards building a stronger foundation for our nation’s healthcare system. We need a market-based, patient-centered approach designed to provide affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans. It must empower the American people to make their own choices instead of allowing unelected bureaucrats in Washington to make it for them.
As the founder of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, I am proud to note that the AHCA provides safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions. The bill will provide states with the flexibility to lower health insurance premium prices through a waiver that will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place. For states seeking a waiver, this bill also provides an additional $8 billion – bringing the total amount of funds to $138 billion – to allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care.
I look forward to continuing to work with the President and my colleagues in Congress to make good on our promise to provide affordable, accessible, and quality health care to all Americans.”
Jodey Arrington (R)
Congressional District: 19, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Bexar
“All Americans—Republican and Democrat alike—want affordable care for their families, but I believe that competition and choice is the best path to our desired outcome—not government mandates and regulations.
“Today, I am proud that Republicans united to deliver on our promise and advance our vision of reining in government and restoring liberty, by taking a solid step towards repealing Obamacare.
“As I have said before, there is no such thing as perfect legislation, but I leveraged every opportunity, as the only Republican Member from Texas on the House Budget Committee, to make major improvements—such as including work requirements, increasing state flexibility, and defunding Planned Parenthood—all of which were included in the final bill.
“Today’s vote represents relief for our middle-class families, a return to Constitutional freedoms, and a restoration of power to the American people. I am excited for the future of our nation and hopeful that we can hand our country to the next generation better than we found it.”
Lamar Smith (R)
Congressional District: 21, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Bexar
As of May 5th, Smith had yet to release an official statement.
Kenny Marchant (R)
Congressional District: 24, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Dallas
“In November, the American people voted for relief from the skyrocketing costs of health insurance. The legacy of Obamacare is out-of-control premiums, fewer choices for patients, and unaffordable deductibles. Today, I voted again to repeal and dismantle Obamacare. After listening to the concerns of my constituents regarding pre-existing conditions, after significant patient protections were added, and after ensuring Congress was not exempted from this legislation, I support advancing this bill to the Senate. American health insurance is in crisis, reform is not a choice, it’s a necessity.
“Right now one-third of all counties in the United States have only one insurance option and that number is climbing. Just yesterday it was reported that the entire state of Iowa could be left with no individual options to purchase health insurance in 2018. This crisis won’t fix itself. Millions of Americans have opted to pay a fine to the government and remain uninsured because it’s actually cheaper than Obamacare premiums.
“Continued improvements will be made to stabilize the industry that’s crumbling around us. This is about dismantling the Obamacare regulations that have hurt so many families and businesses in Texas. Right now, an elderly couple in Texas making $80,000 a year is mandated by Washington to buy one-size-fits-all insurance they don’t want or need. Under the AHCA, this couple would now receive an $8,000 tax credit to buy insurance that actually fits their lifestyle. Conservative principles like this have been part health insurance discussions for decades.
“We’ve seen what happens when Washington bureaucrats take charge of health insurance – health care plans you’re forced to buy but can’t afford to use. Choosing between Obamacare and the American Health Care Act is a false choice, because Obamacare is collapsing. Saying no is easy, saving insurance for American families before it’s gone is worth a yes.”
Pete Sessions (R)
Congressional District: 32, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Dallas
“Obamacare is a discriminatory system that picks winners, creates losers, and oppresses American people who are trying to keep their families healthy. It is a failing system that restricts choice, makes health care unaffordable for American families, and is a major reason why our economy has seen stagnant growth since 2010.
“Although today’s vote is a first step to address the failures of the current health care law, we must be deliberate, thoughtful, and responsible in working to produce a sustainable solution to fix our broken healthcare system. Health care is an issue that impacts every single American. While this bill is not perfect, I believe it is far superior to the health care system we have now.
“It is my hope that my colleagues in the Senate will continue to use this time to develop a better system that brings millions more of Americans to the health care system, not millions less. We have a real opportunity to effectively fix health care, and I hope we can continue to work together to do so.”
Brian Babin (R)
Congressional District: 36, Texas
Bush-Obama County in District — Harris
As of May 5th, Babin has not released an official statement.
Robert Wittman (R)
Congressional District: 1, Virginia
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Prince William, Westmoreland
“It is clear the Affordable Care Act is failing and must be fixed. Having reviewed the text of the bill and the Upton and MacArthur Amendments, I believe this legislation does what is necessary to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, meets the principles for health care reform I laid out several months ago, and puts in place policies that will expand health care choices, increase access to care, and reduce costs.
“This is the first step in a multi-step legislative and administrative process that will give individuals and families more control and choice over their health care decisions while increasing flexibility for states to deliver quality, affordable health care options to their residents.”
Dave Brat (R)
Congressional District: 7, Virginia
Bush-Obama County in District — Henrico
“There is no debate that Obamacare is failing under its own weight. Too many Virginia families on Obamacare have seen double-digit premium increases year after year. Just this week Virginia saw another health insurance provider exit the marketplace due to skyrocketing prices, reducing the choices available to Virginia families.
My yes vote today was about keeping the promise I made to my constituents to work towards lowering health care costs. While the AHCA does not fully repeal Obamacare as I had hoped, it is an important step towards reducing premiums and returning health care decision-making back to the American people. The AHCA rolls back Obamacare mandates and repeals economy crippling taxes while maintaining basic protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Our work is not done. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to improve the bill. And I remain committed to fully repealing Obamacare.”
Paul Ryan (R)
Congressional District: 1, Wisconsin
Bush-Obama County in District — Racine
“Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Thank you for your leadership. There are too many people to name who played such an important role in helping us to get this part.
“I want to thank a few people in particular. I want to thank Chairmen Greg Walden, Kevin Brady, Diane Black, Pete Sessions, and the members of their committees for all the hard work they put in to getting us to this point. I want to thank all the other members who contributed to making this the best bill possible. It really was a collaborative, consensus-driven effort.
“I also want to thank the team here at the White House. I want to thank Tom Price, I want to thank Mick Mulvaney, and I especially want to thank Reince Priebus—we could not have done this without you gentlemen. You guys are the best.
“And of course, this would not have been possible if it weren’t for these two gentlemen behind me. This is the fourth presidency I have served with. I have never, ever seen any kind of engagement like this. I want to thank Mike Pence and I want to thank President Donald Trump for their personal involvement in working with our members and working to get this right, for getting this done, and getting us to where we are. Thank you, gentlemen.
“Today was a big day, but it is just one step in this process. An important step. We still have a lot of work to do to get this signed into law. And I know that our friends over in the Senate are eager to get to work. They are.
“We’re going to see that work through. You know why we’re going to see this work through? Because the issues are just too important. The stakes are just too high. The problems facing American families are real. And the problems facing American families as a result of Obamacare are just too dire and too urgent.
“Just this week, just this week, we learned of another state—Iowa—where the last remaining health care plan is pulling out of 94 of their 99 counties, leaving most of their citizens with no plans on the Obama market at all.
“What kind of protection is Obamacare if there are no plans to choose from? And this is a trend that we’re seeing all across the country.
“The truth is this law has failed, and it is collapsing. Premiums are skyrocketing and choices are disappearing. And it is only getting worse, spiraling out of control.
“And that is why we have to repeal this law and put in place a real, vibrant marketplace with competition and lower premiums for families. That’s what the American Health Care Act is all about.
“It makes health care more affordable, it takes care of our most vulnerable, and it shifts power from Washington back to the states, and most importantly, back to you, the patient.
“Like I said, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but one thing is now clear: Republicans are committed to keeping our promise to lift the burden of Obamacare from the American people and put in place a better, more patient-centered system.”
Glenn Grothman (R)
Congressional District: 6, Wisconsin
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Marquette, Winnebago
“Obamacare is a proven disaster. Premiums have skyrocketed, quality of care has suffered and, more and more, Washington has exerted itself into what should be private, trusted doctor-patient relationships.
“I voted for the new health care bill because the current system is unsustainable. Already, one-third of America’s counties only have one insurance provider, and the exchanges will continue to head towards disaster if Congress doesn’t act. Just yesterday, the last remaining insurer for the majority of the state of Iowa announced that it may drop off the exchanges – leaving 94 of the 99 counties in the state without an insurance provider.
“Quite simply, Americans deserve better.
“This new bill still covers pre-existing conditions, while easing the burdens of Obamacare that have been forced onto so many of our families. With our vote today, the House has ensured that individuals and families will no longer be forced into expensive, inadequate Obamacare plans they do not want and cannot afford.”
Mike Gallagher (R)
Congressional District: 8, Wisconsin
Bush-Obama Counties in District — Door, Winnebago
“As the current healthcare system in America continues to break down, it’s become increasingly clear that the federal government does not know best when it comes to providing healthcare for the 323 million people in the United States. Millions of families have lost access to their preferred doctor, have had their health plan discontinued, or have had their premiums and deductibles rise so high that they’re effectively still uninsured. And while our national healthcare system was certainly broken prior to the ACA, Obamacare only exacerbated its problems. The federal government’s one-size fits all approach is failing and I believe the future of healthcare’s best path forward is through state innovation.
Lost in the national debate on the future of healthcare is the history of Wisconsin’s healthcare system. For years prior to Obamacare, Wisconsin and other states were developing their own solutions to ensure that those who needed care could receive it, took care of families with preexisting conditions and unique needs, and had their own insurance commissioners and regulators for generations. The fact that this bill allows Wisconsin the freedom to determine its own path forward is a promising first step.
During the years before Obamacare, Wisconsin was a model for how to provide health care for its citizens in an innovative way through its successful high-risk pool program. It was a state-sponsored partnership between doctors, private insurance, and patients who were unable to receive individual insurance on the private market. In speaking with Wisconsin’s Insurance Commissioner recently, he pointed out that before Obamacare ended Wisconsin’s program, it was functioning in an entirely stable, affordable and self-sufficient market without any state government supplemental funds— this is an example of what we should expect from our system today.
It’s also important to note that because Wisconsin developed its own way of expanding Medicaid coverage without using Obamacare funds, under this bill Wisconsin will have even more flexibility to cover its most vulnerable populations.
This bill gives states the ability to stabilize insurance markets by providing $130 billion to protect the most vulnerable in the individual insurance market. Additionally, the bill provides $15 billion to help states get back to a model like Wisconsin had where they can mitigate costs through high risk pools. Another $8 billion is designated in the bill for the specific purpose of helping those with pre-existing conditions find the affordable coverage they need. Additionally, I strongly believe that Washington must abide by the laws that it passes for the rest of America which is why I was an original cosponsor and supporter of legislation that forces Members of Congress and their staff to abide by the provisions contained in the AHCA.
This legislation is far from perfect and I look forward to continuing the process of improving the bill as it makes its way through the U.S. Senate. Senate leaders have already assured me that the credits for low income families will be increased in the coming weeks.
This is an emotionally charged issue for many families in Northeast Wisconsin concerned about the future of their healthcare. I understand and share these concerns and believe it’s vitally important that we put healthcare on a sustainable path for the future, which must ultimately include broader reforms like driving down drug prices, increasing transparency and changing the incentive structure for doctors. I remain firm in my commitment to protecting our seniors, protecting those with preexisting conditions, and assisting those with lower incomes in Northeast Wisconsin to ensure that they have the quality care they need and deserve.”