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Thornberry votes to repeal and replace Obamacare

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Washington, May 4, 2017 | Jon Corley (202-225-3706) | comments

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today voted in support of the “American Health Care Act,” H.R. 1628, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213.

“Passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House is a major step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Thornberry said. “This bill will help return power back to patients and their doctors while driving down costs. The Senate now needs to step up and pass it or something similar.”

Thornberry also stressed that this bill will not touch Medicare benefits in any way. He said his office has heard from some constituents who were worried that the AHCA would make cuts to the Medicare benefits. “That simply is not true,” he said. Legislation, H.R. 2192, also passed today to ensure that provisions in the bill apply to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

The AHCA is being considered by Congress under a special procedure known as reconciliation that requires a simple majority (51 votes) to pass in the Senate instead of the 60 votes necessary for most bills. However, only certain types of provisions can be included, which is the reason that further steps, regulatory and legislative, are needed to fully replace the Obamacare system. “We will continue to work to pass legislation that further repeals and replaces the disastrous law since Obamacare cannot be repealed and replaced in a single bill,” Thornberry said.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will lower premiums by 10 percent, reduce the federal deficit by $150 billion, and lower taxes by nearly $1 trillion.  H.R. 1628 will also:

•  Dismantle the Obamacare taxes that have hurt job creators, increased premium and health care costs, and limited options for patients and health care providers, which includes taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices;

•  Eliminate the Obamacare mandated penalties for individuals and employers;

•  Prohibit health insurers from denying coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions or discriminating based on gender;

•  Help young adults access health insurance and stabilize the marketplace by allowing dependents to continue staying on their parents’ plan until they are 26;

•  Empower individuals and families to spend their health care dollars the way they want and need by enhancing and expanding Health Savings Accounts – nearly doubling the amount of money people can contribute and broadening how people can use it;

•  Establish a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states with $100 billion to design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care;

• Create a federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program to help further stabilize markets to help with high-cost medical claims and lower premiums;

•  Modernize and strengthen Medicaid  by transitioning to a “per capita allotment” so states can better serve the patients most in need; and

•  Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit to low and middle-income individuals and families who do not receive insurance through work or a government program.

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