— from Douglas Wagoner —
Congressman: ‘I have held six town halls where I discussed healthcare with more than 800 of my constituents. Not one asked me to support legislation that would cover fewer people, make poor people pay more for health insurance or give the rich a massive tax break’
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge his colleagues to oppose Trumpcare, also known as the American Health Care Act, a bill released earlier this week by House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act. Over the past several weeks, I have held six town halls where I discussed healthcare with more than 800 of my constituents. Thousands more have called in or contacted my office online. Erica from Arlington, Washington, told me thanks to the Affordable Care Act, her family can keep their house and pay their mortgage.
“Nancy from Bellingham, Washington, told me she works with families who “rely on [Medicaid] to avoid bankruptcy due to extra medical costs” that come with caring for babies with disabilities. So many Washingtonians support the Affordable Care Act and benefit from it. And of my constituents who oppose the Affordable Care Act, none have asked me to support legislation that would cover fewer people. None of my constituents asked Congress to make poor people pay more for health insurance. And not one of my constituents asked Congress to give the rich a massive tax break. But that is exactly what the American Health Care Act will do.
“Mr. Speaker, this bill will hurt people – women, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and middle class families. It will result in universal chaos – not universal coverage. I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this measure. Thank you, I yield back,” said Larsen.
Key provisions of Trumpcare include repealing the individual mandate, doing away with Affordable Care Act tax credits that low- and middle-income families rely on to afford health insurance, phasing out Medicaid expansion by the end of the 2019 and repealing the taxes on wealthy Americans which currently finance the Affordable Care Act.
Additionally, by creating an age-based tax credit, the legislation would result in deep cuts to the tax credits that help low-income and elderly individuals afford health insurance.
Since January, Larsen has held Affordable Care Act “Town Talks” in six towns and cities across Northwest Washington – hearing from more than 800 constituents in Mountlake Terrace, Bellingham, Marysville, Anacortes, Langley and Sedro-Woolley.
After hearing from more than 15,000 constituents, Larsen voted in support of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 – citing its improvements to Medicare benefits for seniors, bans on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and potential to expand health care coverage for those who need it most.