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Rep. Wittman Does Not Support GOP’s Health Care Legislation

| March 16, 2017 | 0 Comments | News

Rep. Rob Wittman, Va. 1st District

Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va. 1st district) announced, Monday, he views the Republican’s American Health Care Act unfavorably and will not be supporting the legislation in its current form.

Last week, House Republican leadership released the American Health Care Act, legislation that could replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. “Obamacare”.

Wittman said he does not believe the legislation is in the best interest of Virginians.

“After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today [Mar. 13], it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand,” said Wittman in an online statement. “I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it.”
Wittman had previously said that he would apply five principles to determine if health care legislation would earn his support. The five principles are as follows:

1) All Virginians should be able to purchase health insurance coverage.

2) Choice and access must be prioritized and maintained.

3) We need to get serious about reducing health care costs.

4) Medicare and Medicaid must be protected and preserved.

5) We need to create a system that empowers individuals and the private sector, not one that grows government.

He does not believe the House Republican Plan meets his criteria.

However, the legislation will be moving forward. Thursday, AHCA legislation narrowly passed the senate via a 19-17 vote. Three Republicans voted against it, including Virginia’s Dave Brat. The legislation could undergo changes in the house.

Wittman said his lack of support for the legislation does not change the fact that he believes The ACA ought to be repealed.

In a newsletter to constituents, he said “in my view, the ACA has fallen well short of its own stated goals to expand choices, increase access to care, and reduce costs. That is why I voted to repeal all or parts of it numerous times…I stand ready and willing to work with my colleagues on legislation that expands choices, increases access, and reduces costs.”

According to an aide at Wittman’s office, Rep. Wittman had taken time to meet with various stakeholders such as doctors and providers to determine how they are currently affected by the ACA, and what they would want to see in new health care legislation.

Wittman has also held tele-town hallĀ meetings to hear from constituents. However, Wittman has still been criticized for not holding in-person town halls. The progressive group NoVA Indivisible is one citizens’ group, leading that charge.

According to a New York Times article, experts say the American Health Care Act could leave millions who purchased health care through the exchange without coverage. Those same experts also believed that older Americans and those living in poverty would be the most vulnerable to changes the AHCA could bring about.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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