Health Care repeal vote passes house
WASHINGTON — House Republicans voted unanimously on Wednesday to fully repeal health care reform, though Senate leaders have said they will not take up the lower chamber’s bill. Instead, the fight will move to the less glamorous arenas of funding and rule writing. The vote was 245-189, with three Democrats — Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) — voting for repeal.
The vote to repeal health care was initially delayed by a parliamentary debacle in which two House Republicans skipped the swearing-in ceremony for a Capitol fundraiser, yet voted despite not being official members of Congress. It was delayed an additional week as the House paid tribute to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of the Arizona massacre.
The health care bill that the House would repeal allows parents to keep children on their health plans until the age of 26, bars insurers from denying service due to preexisting conditions, expands Medicaid funding dramatically and extends coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans by 2019. It’s the largest piece of social policy the Democratic Party has enacted in decades. “It is a big deal, as Joe Biden said, in other words,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive media Wednesday morning.
The GOP is calling it the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Democrats, defending the bill, argued that covering 30 million additional people necessarily creates jobs in the health care sector and reduces the burden on small businesses. And repealing it would add more than $200 billion to the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “I want to just advise people watching at home playing the now-popular drinking game, if you take a shot whenever the Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said.
Now that health care reform is law, repealing it would affect people already benefiting.
Dave Sizemore, a Republican contributor in Eric Cantor’s hometown, says he’ll be switching political affiliation after the GOP’s “stunt” on health care.
Sizemore, 59, is disabled and has been on Medicare since 2005. He lives with multiple sclerosis, and because he cannot buy a medigap policy due to pre-existing conditions, medical care and prescriptions have been costly.
“Now, with the new 50 percent discount on drugs while in the donut hole, I do not need to split my medications in half anymore, to afford prescriptions,” Sizemore told HuffPost on Wednesday. “I am a much healthier, happier person because of it.”
Brian Lewis, a contractor from Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, told HuffPost that after he was blindsided by a drunk driver five years ago, he was unable to get medical coverage to cover his injuries. Lewis said he suffered from back pain and chronic panic attacks after the accident, but added that when he reported this to health care professionals, it was registered as a pre-existing condition.
“They denied me insurance based on that,” Lewis said. “All my medical costs have been paid out of pocket. I’ve been doing this now for the last four years… it just proves how screwed up our medical system is in the country. It’s not set up to benefit anyone in this country except insurance companies.”
Sumner Hardy, a 24-year-old Teach For America alumnus from Severna Park, Maryland, told HuffPost that the Affordable Care Act has allowed him to get on his parents’ insurance, after losing his job and health insurance at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year. “I was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2010,” he told HuffPost Wednesday afternoon, “so getting on my parents’ insurance has, perhaps, saved my life.”Read the whole article here