Michigan representatives respond to passage of bill replacing Obamacare

Posted at 2:46 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 17:21:37-04

The House of Representatives Thursday afternoon passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The bill passed by a small margin, 217-213, and came 42 days since Republicans initially failed to pass the bill.

Prominent Michigan representatives are speaking out after the bill passed. Read their statements below.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

“I’m committed to working across the aisle to lower health care costs for Michigan families and small businesses, make prescription drugs more affordable, and improve care for middle-class families.  House Republicans instead passed a plan today that would raise costs for Michigan families, eliminate protections if you or a family member has a preexisting condition like cancer or a heart condition, and take us back to the days when insurance companies were in charge of your health care. I will strongly oppose this plan in the Senate.”

Rep. Dan Kildee (D - 5th District)

“I voted no on Trumpcare because it forces families to pay higher costs for worse health care. It is absolutely heartless that 24 million people will lose their insurance under Trumpcare. Under the Republican health care plan, Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the guarantee of coverage and be segregated into high-risk pools, where they will face higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Trumpcare also creates an ‘age tax’ and steals from Medicare, forcing older Americans to pay more out of pocket. Simply put, Trumpcare is reckless and dangerous. I have always said that I will work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, to improve health care in America. But kicking millions off their current coverage, raising health care premiums for families, stealing from Medicare and taxing older Americans is the wrong way to change our health care system.”

State Sen. Jim Ananich (D - Michigan's 27th District)

“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. Dave Trott (R - 11th Distrct)

"Since coming to Congress, I have been committed to replacing the Affordable Care Act with common-sense solutions that give every Michigan family access to affordable, high-quality care.  I believe the verdict on the Affordable Care Act was rendered last November and Michigan voters made it clear they want to see a new direction for our nation's health care system. While this legislation is not perfect, I believe it is better approach than was taken by the Affordable Care Act.  My viewpoint is reflected in the words of one of my constituents from Livonia, who recently told me, 'health insurance, right now, is more in need of reform than ever.' With individual premiums expected to be hit with another double digit increase, Michigan families cannot afford to wait. The American Health Care Act instills patient-centered reforms that will reduce costs and includes safeguards for patients with pre-existing conditions, and allows young adults to stay on their parents' healthcare plan until age twenty-six. Additionally, this legislation modernizes and reforms Medicaid, protecting it for our children, the elderly, and the disabled, ensuring the program's future solvency. The American people send their lawmakers to Washington to make tough choices - not to be obstructionists, but to work towards substantive solutions, and I am committed to doing just that. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and President Trump as we improve our nation's health care system."

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D - 14th District)

“Today, House Republicans finally passed their rushed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  This plan is inconsiderate, irresponsible and ultimately immoral. 

“There has been no bipartisan input, no thorough review of the bill and no CBO score to gauge the impact of this healthcare plan. On an issue as important to our economy, and vital to the wellbeing of ordinary Michiganders and Americans, this can be called nothing but an outrage.

“The ACA is not perfect, but it has provided insurance to millions of Americans, and saved thousands of lives. The bill pushed the uninsured rate to a record low rate of 8.6%, something we should celebrate. From the original scoring of this bill, we know that the Republican plan will drastically increase the uninsured rate in this country, and take away insurance from at least 24 million Americans. The Republican’s plan punishes those who have a gap in insurance coverage by imposing a 30% increase in premiums.

“The Affordable Care Act allows states, like Michigan, to expand Medicaid coverage to millions of people. Republicans have decided to stop Medicaid expansion after 2020 and limit the funds that states could receive. Under this new plan, states like Michigan will have less options to support people who rely on Medicaid as their only source of health insurance.
“For seven years, Republicans have had the chance to improve the bill and help people, but have failed and refused. They have turned their backs on seniors and those with pre-existing conditions.

“This new Republican healthcare plan is indefensible. The health and welfare of millions of Americans are at stake. Under this plan, pre-existing conditions will not be protected, and essential benefits like C-Sections and mammograms will not be guaranteed. I cannot, and will not, support a replacement plan that makes America sick again. It takes away insurance from millions of Americans rather than giving them access to comprehensive health insurance.”

Rep. Sander Levin (D - 9th District)

“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.”