Michigan representatives respond to bill to replace Obamacare
On Thursday, Republicans in the United States House of Representatives voted to support a bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare.
They won passage only after overcoming their own divisions that nearly sank the measure six weeks ago. The measure skirted through the House by a thin 217-213 vote, as all voting Democrats and a group of mostly moderate Republican holdouts voted no.
Here's how Michigan lawmakers reacted to the passage of the bill. This page will be updated as we receive more statements:
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
“Today, my colleagues in the House of Representatives voted to rip health insurance away from at least 24 million Americans and turn back the clock on progress to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for all. This legislation literally means life or death for people across this country – it guts protections for pre-existing conditions, ends Medicaid expansion – which reduced the uninsured rate in Michigan by half – charges older Americans five times more for care, and steals from Medicare – all in order to give $600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations. This is not who we are.
“The American people must continue to make their voices heard on this dangerous bill that will leave working men and women worse off and could ultimately cost lives. This is about real people, and it is our job to ensure that if they are sick, they can get the care they need. This bill does the exact opposite.”
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint)
“Make no mistake – the older or sicker you are, the more you pay under the GOP’s new ‘plan.’ The original plan was awful, but this version is downright immoral. Republicans want to give states the right to strip away benefits for things like prescription drug coverage and maternity care, set higher rates for people with pre-existing conditions and charge seniors an arm and a leg for their coverage. The bottom line is Trumpcare will hurt people, it will hurt Michigan and it breaks the president’s promise to cover everyone with his health care plan. Premiums will go up and coverage will be worse.
“We’ve looked at plans like this before. These policies aren’t tried–and–true, they are tried–and–failed, and they will force Michiganders to decide between buying insurance and feeding their families. Elected leaders should be making decisions based on the needs of their constituents, and not what’s politically advantageous.”
Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09)
"Today, House Republicans turned their backs on the health needs of millions and millions of Americans. Their rigid ideology has blinded them to what matters most for the families of America - insurance for good health. This will not be the decisive step. Millions of Americans have already risen up, told us their stories - and more will now in still larger numbers.
"Over $1 trillion would be taken from Medicare, Medicaid and premium assistance for Americans purchasing health insurance to provide a trillion dollars in tax breaks primarily for insurance companies and other corporations and for some of the very richest Americans.
"The Republican bill also guts key protections for Americans with serious health conditions, including protections for those with preexisting conditions, mothers needing maternity care, and older workers. 129 million Americans may have some form of pre-existing condition, including more than 4 million in Michigan. The Affordable Care Act says insurance companies can't exclude them, can't limit their benefits, and can't charge them more. The GOP bill would effectively repeal those provisions. Republicans say not to worry - they will be covered by risk pools. But experts have repeatedly warned that risk pools won't adequately protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
"This bill is not just a disagreement between Republicans and Democrats on health care - nearly every major organization involved in providing health care opposes the GOP legislation from the American Medical Association to the American Hospital Association to the AARP. All of them warn of the negative impacts that Americans will feel from this misguided bill.
"Today was a bad day for Americans who need health care, but the fight shall continue."