Lipinski: Republican AHCA Wrong Medicine for Americans (May 4, 2017)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) released the following statement today:

“Today, I voted against the House Republicans’ repeal and replace healthcare legislation, the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  This version of the bill is even worse than the original version released last month.  As I said at that time, the AHCA will make healthcare less affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, including thousands of residents in my district.  We need to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work better, not replace it with a bill that makes Americans worse off.

“According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis of the original AHCA bill, 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance in ten years if it became law.  Out-of-pocket costs would rise for millions more.  The impact of the bill passed today would be even worse because the amendments that were added eliminate critical protections contained in the ACA.  For example, insurance companies would no longer be prohibited from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage, meaning that the cost of coverage would be out of reach for the most vulnerable Americans. 

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any analysis of the impact of the bill voted on today because it was rushed to the House floor less than 24 hours after the final text was revealed.  This meant that the CBO – and everyone else – had no time to analyze it.  This type of action by congressional leaders is one of the biggest reasons that most Americans are fed up with Congress.  In addition to undermining healthcare access, the bill also includes direct tax cuts for health insurance companies and their executives, as well as tax cuts of about $50,000 a year for those who make more than $1 million.  This is a clear indicator of where priorities lie in this bill.

“While I did not vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2010, I recognize its importance in providing healthcare for countless families across our nation and I cannot support this Republican proposal that would undermine this progress.  I know that the ACA needs to be fixed, and that for many Americans premiums and out-of-pocket costs are too high.  But rather than casting the whole law out and jeopardizing healthcare for millions of Americans, I’ve been working in a bipartisan manner over the last seven years to make changes to the ACA to rein in healthcare costs and increase access so that it works better for families and small businesses.  It’s time for Washington to come out of the deep trenches and join me in a bipartisan effort to fix the ACA and make our healthcare system better.  We owe it to the American people to do just that.”

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