Shea-Porter Statement on Republican Health Care Bill
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) released the following statement after delivering remarks in opposition to the House Republican health care bill and voting NO. The bill passed the House by a vote of 217-213.
“The House just passed a terrible bill that will devastate so many of our citizens. I am disappointed that so many Congressional Republicans voted to take health care away from millions of Americans and to allow insurers to once again discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions,” said Shea-Porter. “While today’s vote was a setback, I will never stop fighting for the people’s right to health care. Now, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to send this bill where it belongs: history.”
Minutes before the vote, Shea-Porter spoke on the House floor to oppose the bill, saying:
“I oppose this cruel bill on behalf of my constituents, especially those it would hurt the most: people with pre-existing conditions, older Americans, veterans, and lower-income people. If this bill passes, we will go back to the days when people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage or charged more, when insurers could decide whether or not to cover basic care like hospitalization, and when sick babies might hit their insurer’s lifetime coverage limit before they could even walk.
“Under this bill, older Americans will pay more. In fact, Americans aged 50-64 would pay premiums five times higher than others. Veterans will lose access to tax credits that make private coverage affordable. And lower-income people will be hurt. Taking away Medicaid expansion would put affordable coverage out of reach for millions, and set us back in the fight against the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis.
“Instead of this cruel bill, let’s come together to improve health care, not take health insurance from millions just to give tax cuts to the wealthiest. We’re better than that.”
Over the past months, Shea-Porter has worked to highlight the damage the House Republican health care bill would cause in New Hampshire, recently hosting a roundtable at Manchester Community Health Center and offering a motion to preserve access to substance abuse treatment on the House floor. She has called for bipartisan work on health care priorities like the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis, the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs, and increasing competition and choice in the health insurance market. Last month, she introduced the Medicare You Can Opt Into Act, which would create a public option to compete alongside private insurers.
Allowing pre-existing condition discrimination made a bad bill worse
“The changes proposed in the amended bill put consumer protections at greater risk by allowing states to waive the essential health benefits standards, which could leave patients without access to critical health services and increase out-of-pocket spending. This could allow plans to set premium prices based on individual risk for some consumers, which could significantly raise costs for those with pre-existing conditions.” – Steve Ahnen, President, New Hampshire Hospital Association, 4/28/17
“High-risk pools are not a new idea. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, 35 states operated high-risk pools, and they were not a panacea for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. The history of high-risk pools demonstrates that Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stuck in second-class health care coverage – if they are able to obtain coverage at all. Not only would the AHCA eliminate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, the legislation would, in many cases, eliminate the ban against charging those with underlying medical conditions vastly more for their coverage.” – American Medical Association, 5/3/17
Other organizations opposing the bill