Six of Alabama’s seven members of Congress voted Thursday to repeal Obamacare, the 7-year-old government-mandated health insurance system that disrupted a working medical insurance system and increased costs. The vote sent H.R. 1628 to the Senate. Passage is a victory for Republicans, who reacted.
“Today I voted for, and the House passed, what the Republicans have promised to do for the past seven years: repeal and replace Obamacare,” U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said in a statement.
“Obamacare is failing us and premiums are getting worse, not better,” Aderholt said. “Americans continue to see their healthcare options dwindle. Obamacare has also led to more expensive insurance that Americans cannot afford to use – higher premiums and higher deductibles. Today’s vote addresses these issues head-on.”
The bill keeps preexisting condition coverage and there is assistance for older, rural and poor seniors. The vote repeals Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood and redirects the money to the Federally Qualified Health Centers.
After the vote, Republican lawmakers rode to the White House for a celebration with President Trump. He said from the White House Rose Garden that he was “confident” the Senate would also vote to repeal ObamaCare, the Hill reported.
“Yes, premiums will be coming down. Yes, deductibles will be coming down. But very importantly, it’s a great plan and ultimately that’s what it’s all about,” Trump said. “This has brought the Republican Party together.”
“Today, I voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a health care plan that actually lowers costs and gets the federal government out of the way,” Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Daphne, said. “Importantly, the bill continues to ensure protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It also cuts taxes, defunds Planned Parenthood, and fundamentally reforms Medicaid.”
“With President Trump’s strong support, the House of Representatives is keeping its promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, said. “Folks across East Alabama have seen their premiums and deductibles skyrocket over the past seven years or worse have lost their insurance altogether. It’s very simple to understand – Obamacare didn’t work, and it wasn’t going to get better.”
Republicans argued that ObamaCare is failing and needs to be replaced, pointing to insurers pulling out of certain markets. Not one Republican voted for Obamacare when the House passed it by one vote in 2010.
U.S. CHAMBER PRAISES HOUSE PASSAGE OF OBAMACARE REPEAL
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue congratulated the House for repealing Obamacare.
“We congratulate the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the ‘American Health Care Act’ and taking an important step forward from an unsustainable health care system that is saddling Americans with higher costs and uncertain coverage options,” Donahue said. “This bill contains important reforms that will lower costs and pull back on job killing tax hikes that have been stifling economic growth across the country. We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate and President Trump to move this important legislation forward.”
The U.S. Chamber had sent a key alert to its members in advance of Thursday’s vote.
REP. ROBY PASSES WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY BILL
The House this week passed H.R. 1180 by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, the Working Families Flexibility Act that offers parents greater workplace flexibility.
The Working Families Flexibility Act would give private-sector employees the option to convert their accrued overtime into paid time off. This compensatory time, or “comp time,” would be completely voluntary for the employer and employee with strong worker protections to prohibit coercion. Comp time is already widely used by government employees, Rep. Roby said.
“The workforce has changed tremendously over the years, but the laws and policies that govern the workplace have not,” Rep. Roby said. “Today’s working parents need more time flexibility to balance the demands of work and family. I’ve always said Congress cannot legislate another hour into the day, but we can update our laws to allow more choice and fairness in how working Americans use their time.”
The House passed the bill by a vote of 229-197. The bill goes to the Senate, where Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is the sponsor.
The President’s executive office said advisers would advise President Trump to sign the bill if presented to him in current form. “After multiple veto threats from the Obama Administration, I appreciate the White House working with us to advance this bill,” Rep. Roby said.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Alabama’s Senators Vote to Avoid Government Shutdown
Wall Street Journal (Andrews 5/4) “The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government through Sept. 30, sending it next to the president’s desk and avoiding a partial government shutdown this weekend.
“The bill passed with 79 votes in favor in the Senate on Thursday. It had passed the House on Wednesday and now heads to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it even though several of his key priorities are missing. A White House official said Mr. Trump will sign the bill tomorrow, ahead of the 12:01 a.m. Saturday deadline. The must-pass bill was crafted by leaders among Republicans and Democrats in Congress and is being touted as a win by both parties.”