Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) joined fellow House Republicans today in passing the American Health Care Act, the long-sought repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has failed in its promises to the American people. From the start of this process, I have stated that the responsible path forward includes keeping what works and fixing what doesn’t,” said Faso in a release. “The ACA as it stands now will collapse under its own weight if nothing is done, imperiling millions of Americans through higher premiums and fewer choices.”
Faso cited recent premium hikes on ACA exchanges, the fact that 1/3 of counties have only one insurer, high deductibles, taxes, among other reasons to replace Obamacare.
“Acknowledging the ACA’s failures, the people’s representatives were faced with a choice: do nothing and watch millions of our citizens continue to be forced to buy insurance they cannot afford, or work together to improve a broken system,” said Faso.
Faso said the new bill will protect essential health benefits and those with pre-existing conditions, disputing two of the main criticisms of the bill. Opponents point out that the essential health benefits — features required of every plan — will vary by state (though New York State is unlikely to reduce them), and though individuals with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied coverage, they could be charged higher premiums.
Faso also mentioned a New York State-specific provision of the law he said would save taxpayers money.
“The AHCA contains a provision I authored to eliminate the ability of New York State as of 2020 to impose Medicaid costs on county property taxpayers,” said Faso. “For a typical homeowner or commercial property owner residing in the 19th District, Medicaid costs represent over 40 percent of their county property tax burden. New York’s Medicaid spending dwarfs that of most other states. For instance, New York spends more than Texas and Florida combined, even though these states have more than double our population.”
An earlier version of the bill was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to result in 24 million Americans losing health insurance due to increased costs.
The bill now moves to the Senate.