Smith Statement on Republican Vote to Limit Health Coverage
“House Republicans voted today to eliminate essential health benefits and protections for Americans. No one—especially not those Republicans who voted to pass it—bothered to consider the costs or the actual impacts of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on working Americans, those with pre-existing conditions, and people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was by no means a cure to all of our healthcare challenges, but today’s bill ignores any opportunity for meaningful changes, and instead represents a dangerous leap backwards.
“Prior to the 2010 enactment of the ACA, health care costs were rapidly increasing, government budgets were straining under health costs, and many patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, were unable to access affordable health coverage. We simply cannot revert to a system that allows costs to increase unchecked, insures too few, and drains our economy.
“Republicans, driven by a desire to deliver on a political promise, made irresponsible and harmful changes to the ACHA, which erode essential protections and high quality care, solely to placate Members of the House Republican caucus. Republicans are kidding themselves if they believe eliminating coverage for millions is a desirable approach to further improving health care in this country. Rather than building upon our existing health care law, they are systematically destroying our health care structure. Republicans, led by President Trump, have already undermined the current system by inserting uncertainty and instability into the market, rolling back key consumer protections, weakening enforcement of the individual mandate, and tampering with rules to benefit insurers at the cost of the American people.
“Today’s vote is the height of irresponsibility. Republicans hold power at all levels of our federal government. They must govern for all Americans, not just their ideologically-driven base, and take the time to craft a bipartisan health care bill that improves the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”