Rep. Rob Wittman Supports New Health Care Act

| May 4, 2017 | 1 Comment | News

Congressman Wittman addresses a crowd in Nokesville.

U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman of the 1st Virginia District has announced that he supported the American Health Care Act, H.R. 1628, a new health care act, which would also effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act passed by President Obama.

The act passed by narrow margins in the House of Representatives 217 to 213, Thursday. No Democrat voted for the bill

The bill will now have to pass the Senate where it may undergo changes.

Wittman voted against the AHCA in its previous incarnation in March, but said that this new bill matched his criteria.

“It is clear the Affordable Care Act is failing and must be fixed. Having reviewed the text of the bill and the Upton and MacArthur Amendments, I believe this legislation does what is necessary to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, meets the principles for health care reform I laid out several months ago, and puts in place policies that will expand health care choices, increase access to care, and reduce costs.”

“This is the first step in a multi-step legislative and administrative process that will give individuals and families more control and choice over their health care decisions while increasing flexibility for states to deliver quality, affordable health care options to their residents.”

Republicans have said for a long time that the ACA did not work and was bad for the country. They argued it costs too much to enter into the system and for that cost did not cover as much as people wanted without high copays and deductibles. Many individuals saw their health care costs increase as did businesses.

Healthy people and young people ended up paying a higher cost than they did buying insurance before the ACA.

However, there were many parts of the ACA that have become even more popular since President Obama has left office. The greatest of these is covering people with pre-existing conditions.

The new act would largely leave it up to the states whether they will allow people with pre-existing conditions to enter into a plan.

Another criticism of the act is that it did not yet receive a score from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, which would estimate how much it would cost. The CBO also did not estimate how many would lose coverage under the new bill.

Democrats are estimating that 24 million people could lose their health insurance under the new plan, but Republicans dispute that number.

Democrats criticize the bill on many fronts saying it only provides limited coverage for people with preexisting conditions, it would increase health care costs for seniors up five times what they are currently paying. It also does less to cover pregnant women and the disabled and substantially decreases Medicaid especially for the poor and it does not fund Planned Parenthood even though the Federal government was already not funding abortion procedures.

Some of these aspects will be negotiable when the bill goes to Senate.

The House of Representatives also passed a bill exempting themselves from the limitations of the new health care act that they approved.

Citizens protest May 4, 2017 outside Rep. Rob Wittman’s Stafford Office. (Photo submitted.)

Response to Wittman’s announcement on his Facebook page has been overwhelmingly negative especially in comments, although it did receive a fair amount of thumbs up.

Even though the 1st district was “red” the election of President Trump and subsequent actions by the White House and Congress have mobilized Democrats and progressives in the district. Last month, citizens held a mock town hall, requesting an in person town hall led by Rep. Wittman.

Health care is among the most divisive issues in America today as well as in Virginia and the 1st district.

Today, a group protested at Wittman’s office in Stafford asking that he not support the bill.

Republicans had a party bus ready to take them to a celebratory event at the White House.

After the bill was passed, some Democrats began singing “na, na, na, na…hey, hey, hey, goodbye!” and waving Republicans off the floor.

Barbara Comstock of Virginia’s 10th District was one of 20 Republicans who voted “no.”

© 2017, Stacy Shaw. All rights reserved.

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  1. Pendragon says:

    “The new act would largely leave it up to the states whether they will allow people with pre-existing conditions to enter into a plan.”

    Thus abrogating Congress’s responsibility…Sigh…anyone with a pre-existing condition is screwed.

    Bye bye, Rep. Wittman. Read the Bill! You have no clue what it says.

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