House passes ObamaCare repeal: Virginia Democrats respond

A Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare passed the House today by a narrow 217-213 margin.

healthcare“A lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on the House floor before the vote, and afterward, GOP leaders left the Capitol to celebrate the vote with President Trump in the Rose Garden.

The measure faces an uncertain future in the Senate, though, even among Republicans.

“A bill — finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate — should be viewed with caution,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Thursday.

A slew of Virginia Democrats made their feelings known in statements on Thursday after the vote.

Sen. Mark Warner:
“Instead of working with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act, today Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to take away healthcare coverage from millions of Americans. This bill would raise costs for seniors, hang 3.4 million Virginians with preexisting conditions out to dry, and shift hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for Medicaid services to states, impacting care for pregnant women, seniors and the disabled.

“This was a bad bill a month ago, and it’s a worse bill now. I will fight tooth and nail to keep it from passing the Senate.”


Sen. Tim Kaine:
“President Trump promised the American public that no one would lose coverage under his health bill, those with pre-existing conditions would be protected, and no one would be worse off. Today the House rushed the TrumpCare bill through without waiting to hear how many millions of people would lose health insurance and protections for pre-existing conditions, how high premiums would go up for seniors and how much the deficit would explode. If they cared about health care, they would care about how this bill affects people’s health. But what they care about is giving a massive tax break to the wealthiest, paid for by slashing health care for everyday people.

“The Senate should put this bill into committee, let the CBO study it, hold hearings to hear from doctors and patients and engage in a meaningful bipartisan effort to improve health care. And we should never accept a bill that causes people to lose coverage or pay more. That’s what the President promised and we need to hold him accountable for it.”


Gov. Terry McAuliffe:
“Once again, congressional Republicans are threatening the health of Virginia families by rushing to dismantle the Affordable Care Act – a bill that has helped 400,000 Virginians get health insurance. The legislation that they intend to pass today would endanger people with pre-existing conditions, cut essential health benefits, and weaken states’ ability to keep our residents healthy and economically competitive. Without a non-partisan analysis of the human and financial impacts by the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP leadership is irresponsibly putting this bill to a vote.

“This bill would also decimate Medicaid coverage for low-income Virginians, roughly one million of whom rely on the program to access basic healthcare. By slashing more than $800 billion from this critical lifeline, Republicans are gutting a successful program that has helped countless seniors, children, and people with disabilities live healthy and productive lives.

“The ACA could be made stronger – and Congress should focus on those efforts. Instead, today they are poised to pass a bill that would strip millions of Americans access to health care in order to finance a tax cut for billionaires. On behalf of the people of Virginia, I urge Congress to identify smart, targeted reforms that improve our healthcare system and reduce costs, without leaving behind the very people they are meant to help.”


Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam:
“Today, House Republicans voted to cement the notion that in America, your life’s worth is your net worth. This is the most spineless, unprincipled cruelty that I have ever seen come from a legislative body. These members have jammed through a bad bill in the name of accomplishment, and it accomplishes one thing: it is a Frankenstein of all the pre-Obamacare insurance industry’s worst norms.

“As a physician, I remember personally what that time was like. I spent so much time on the phone with insurance companies before the Affordable Care Act’s passage that I decided to do something about it. That’s why I first ran for public office. Today, I am thinking about my patients, a lot of whom are on Medicaid, a lot of whom have preexisting conditions and live with disabilities, and my heart breaks for them. House Republicans today told them that they do not have the right to quality and affordable healthcare, and what’s more, they could literally pay for it with their lives.

“I urge the Senate – kill this bill. It is an economic and moral imperative that we keep building on the Affordable Care Act’s progress. It is now literally a matter of life and death.”


Fifth District Democratic candidate RD Huffstetler:
“In the Marine Corps we have a name for what’s going on in Washington: a shit sandwich.”

“I’ll be the first to agree, Obamacare needs fixes. But our Congressman is going to vote for a bill that he’s admitted that neither he nor anyone else has even read.

“Washington is so broken that instead of working across party lines and making sure that folks in this country are able to afford the healthcare they need, they’re ripping away coverage from 24 million Americans. That means that people here in central Virginia who have asthma, diabetes, cancer, or even moms will see the cost for their coverage shoot through the roof.”

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