Story by WRN/Bob Hague
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a hastily drawn bill to revise Affordable Care Act. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville urged his GOP colleagues to support the measure. Ryan cited Iowa, where there is now only one insurance provider on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges
“What protection is Obamacare if there is no health care plan to purchase in your state? This is the direction that Obamacare is rapidly heading.”
The 217 to 213 vote was a big win for Ryan. “A lot of us have been waiting 7 years to cast this vote,” Ryan said. “Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
Democrats in the Wisconsin delegation voted against the measure. “This so-called health care plan is a disaster,” Representative Mark Pocan said “The reality is that under Trumpcare, 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance and it will likely remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Older Americans are going to pay up to 5 times more than others for their health care.”
“This is a large tax cut bill for the wealthiest paid for by kicking 24 million people off their healthcare coverage,” Representative Ron Kind said. “It will allow critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions to be taken away, leads to skyrocketing premiums for older Wisconsinites, and puts Medicare four years closer to going bankrupt.”
Republicans celebrated the vote, singing “nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey hey goodbye” – as the bill reached 216 votes. The measure now moves to the U.S. Senate, which is not expected to begin debate until June.