How'd They Vote? AZ Representatives on the American Health Care Act

05 May 2017  
How did they vote? Arizona Representatives share their reasons for their vote on the American Health Care Act.

Rep. Gosar Votes in Support of AHCA: A Down Payment Towards Market Based Solution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.S. (AZ-04) voted in favor of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House by a vote of 217-213: 

“As a dentist impersonating a politician, I am going to tell Arizonans the truth about the updated version of the AHCA: This bill is NOT a full repeal, I repeat NOT a full repeal of Obamacare. However, after working alongside my colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus, we have been able to secure Conservative, time-tested changes to the original version of the AHCA. These changes will immediately eliminate Obamacare taxes, lower health insurance premiums, offer more choices for Arizonans and begins the process of rebuilding a patient-centered market. 

“Millions of Americans are drowning right now under the tidal wave of Obamacare regulations and mandates that have destroyed our entire healthcare system. The American Health Care Act is a life raft to those suffering and represents a down payment towards a true market-based solution. Additionally, the AHCA preserves protections for all Americans with pre-existing conditions and gives states the control needed to lower premiums, provide increased patient-centered choices and stabilize the insurance market.

“Combined with my bipartisan legislation, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, which passed the House by a vote of 416-7, the AHCA takes the necessary first step to rebuilding America’s health insurance market. While I will never stop fighting for a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the revised AHCA finally opens the door to free-market solutions that empowers states and individuals to have more control over health care decisions.”   


(Courtesy of the House Republican Conference )
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) as amended delivers relief from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates that have hurt job creators, increased premiums, and limited options for patients and health care providers. It returns control of health care from Washington back to the states and restores the free market so Americans can access quality, affordable health care options that are tailored to their needs. 

Obamacare was based on a one-size-fits-all approach that put bureaucrats in Washington in charge of your health care. The law led to higher costs, fewer choices, and less access to the care people need.

The AHCA will deliver the control and choice individuals and families need to access health care that’s right for them. And provide the freedom and flexibility states, job creators, and health care providers need to deliver quality, affordable health care options.

The MacArthur Amendment keeps our promises of lowering costs and protecting high-risk patients by giving states greater flexibility and more control over local insurance markets.

The MacArthur Amendment provides states the option to apply for waivers from certain federal insurance regulations that increase insurance premiums. This new flexibility will allow states to design insurance frameworks that are right for their unique populations, providing superior care and lowering costs for patients.

Any states that apply for a waiver must attest that its purpose is to reduce the cost of health care or increase the number of people with health care coverage.

The amendment’s limited waiver for health rating requires states to set up a program for high-risk individuals or premium stabilization, or to participate in the federal invisible risk-sharing program. No state may obtain a waiver for health status unless it has taken these efforts to protect those who might be affected. In states with a waiver, individuals who maintain continuous coverage could not be rated based on health status.

(Courtesy of Congressman Gosar)
The full text of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 can be found HERE.

The Congressman’s legislation is endorsed by: American Dental Association, American Optometric Association and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The White House has released an official statement in support of The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act HERE.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 amends a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, which exempted the insurance industry from the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act – acts that have the purpose of ensuring fair competition.  This broad exemption was intended to assist newly established insurance companies set sustainable premiums by permitting data sharing between insurance companies. These antiquated exemptions are no longer necessary. There is no reason in law, policy, or logic for the insurance industry to have special exemptions that are different from all other businesses in the United States.

Repeal of the specific sections of the McCarran-Ferguson Act which apply to health insurance has bipartisan support. A form of this legislation passed the Democratic-controlled House during the 111th Congress 406 - 19 (Roll no. 64) and passed the Republican-led House in the 112th Congress by a voice vote.

Congressman Biggs’ Statement on the American Health Care Act Passage

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Andy Biggs released the following statement after voting NO on the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“Over the past seven years, House Republicans have continually argued that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is unconstitutional and should be fully repealed. Unfortunately, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) leaves the basic framework of Obamacare in place and continues to commit Republicans to an ill-considered, ill-defined, and an almost certainly ill-fated three-stage plan to completely repeal Obamacare at an unspecified later date. Even worse, I have seen no compelling evidence that the AHCA will offer substantive relief to Arizona families who have been crushed by devastatingly high health insurance premiums. For these reasons, and because I promised my constituents a full repeal, I voted “no” on this legislation.

“Some of my colleagues claim that by passing the AHCA we are eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars in Obamacare taxes. There is some truth to this argument. But the AHCA does not do anything to eliminate the costly ACA subsidies already in place, and it continues the dangerous precedent established by the ACA of granting the federal government the power to regulate our nation’s healthcare system. I did not come to Washington to give unelected bureaucrats the authority to dictate health insurance options to me, my family, or the residents of the East Valley. This is not a fight I am prepared to surrender.

“Last night, I submitted two amendments that would have vastly improved the AHCA. One of these amendments would have allowed individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines; the other would have allowed states to opt out of any or all provisions of the ACA or AHCA without prior Department of Health and Human Services waiver approval. Those amendments, which were drafted in good faith and would have brought the AHCA far closer to the goal of full repeal, were not included in the final version of the AHCA.

“Although I could not vote for the AHCA because of the promises I made to my constituents, I appreciate the good faith and tireless efforts of many of my colleagues. The House Freedom Caucus dramatically improved the AHCA through their negotiations, and I specifically applaud the work of Congressman David Schweikert, whose high-risk pool amendment was included in the final bill, and Congresswoman Martha McSally, who championed a separate bill to ensure that Members of Congress and their staff are not exempted from the laws we pass.

“I look forward to renewing our fight to advance our conservative agenda and keeping the promises we made to our constituents.”

Representative Trent Franks

The federal government is not known for its ability to keep entitlement spending under control. Obamacare has been the perfect example of what health care looks like in the hands of an unimaginably large bureaucracy. Premium cost hikes have crippled American families, Medicaid is failing those most in need, and regulation is stifling innovation.

Passing the American Health Care Act is the start of our promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. The AHCA moves us closer to a patient-centered system that meets the needs of more Americans better than under Obamacare. People with pre-existing conditions will be protected while allowing States greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. I was pleased to vote in favor of this landmark bill.

Rep. Ruben Gallego

Trumpcare will have devastating effects for children, families, seniors, people with disabilities and veterans. Millions of Americans will lose their health insurance, and those who keep it will incur higher out-of-pocket costs and face longer waiting periods for coverage. The GOP plan kills protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eviscerates Medicaid, and will leave veterans with fewer choices about where to seek care.

Republicans should be prepared to be held accountable for their "yes" votes on this disastrous bill when the American people head to the ballot box in 2018.

Raul M. Grijalva

Shame on Republicans for forcing through Congress a healthcare plan that completely dismantles Obamacare and goes against the will of the people. However they wish to sugarcoat it, there was never anything in their plan that was meant to make healthcare more affordable and accessible.

Rep. Tom O’Halleran

More than 90% of the calls, texts, and emails my office has received from First District constituents were expressing opposition to the AHCA. Your opinion matters to me; never hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts and concerns.

Rep. David Schweikert

Sharing my presentation from yesterday. I explain why America, and more specifically Arizona, needs healthcare reform.

Sinema Statement on House Consideration of the American Health Care Act 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement on the House of Representatives’ consideration of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act:

“The American Health Care Act jeopardizes the economic security of hardworking Arizona families. I oppose it.

“Healthcare reform should control costs and improve quality and access for hardworking Arizona families. This bill increases costs for Arizona families, especially older Arizonans. It removes consumer protections and allows insurance companies to essentially deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. It does little to encourage young people to get coverage, and analysis shows that it even threatens the stability of employer sponsored coverage. The Medicaid repeal in this bill will cost Arizona billions in health care funding and puts a multi-billion dollar hole in our state’s budget. There are real challenges in healthcare that need to be fixed but this bill makes the situation worse. Congress needs to stop and start over.  

“Healthcare reform deserves and requires serious, thoughtful solutions that last the test of time. Congress should not attempt reform without input and cooperation from both parties and the American people. It’s time for members of Congress to put aside their differences, roll up their sleeves, and work together to come up with real solutions that deliver quality, affordable healthcare for hardworking Arizona families."

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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.