Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA 02) announces he will vote to throw tens of millions of Americans off of affordable health care. As “thanks,” in 2018, Virginia’s 2nd CD voters need to throw Scott Taylor off of the taxpayer dime and out into the “free market” he loves so much. Grrrrrrr. Oh, by the way, notice something Taylor conveniently omits from this b.s. explanation for his vote? That’s right, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, which is not available for the monstrosity he’ll vote “yea” on tomorrow, but which WAS available for the previous version of the bill, and which found that 24 million American would be left without health insurance due to Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand wet dream. In sum, anyone who votes “yea” on this is evil, no matter how they try to pretend they’re not.
Leaders must act. A lack of action leaves the failing status quo of Obamacare. Thursday, I will vote YEA, in support of the American Health Care Act. Dealing with healthcare is a complicated and formidable task. However, it is one issue I knew I would face as a freshman Member of Congress. I was quite clear during my campaign for Congress that I supported repealing and replacing Obamacare. It is failing. It is hurting more people than it’s helping. The law’s mandates, tax hikes, and regulations have led to skyrocketing premiums, fewer choices, and less access to quality care. The government should not require citizens to engage in commerce they do not want to engage in. Millions of people lost healthcare plans they wanted to keep. Healthcare premiums have skyrocketed as have deductibles for too many families. People are making tough decisions with some premiums costing as much as mortgage payments. Others are walking around with insurance cards with deductibles they cannot afford. Insurers are pulling out of markets, leaving monopolies behind. The government is taking in more tax revenue than at any time in our nation’s history – regulations are crushingly burdensome on individuals and businesses and will only increase moving forward under Obamacare. The list of reasons for repeal goes on.
The AHCA vote this Thursday is the first step toward patient-centered healthcare. After all, NO ONE cares more about your healthcare than you or your family. The AHCA is the start of three phases: the budget reconciliation process to repeal Obamacare taxes, executive action to provide waivers to the States and other rule changes, and more legislation to fully enact our improvements, including allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. This is sure to be an ongoing process and not a simplistic one.
Under the AHCA, those who cannot help themselves are still protected. The bill provides states with $100 billion to design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans access affordable health care. States would also have the ability to add work requirements for able-bodied, working age adults. The bill repeals Obamacare taxes and the forced mandate, it increases the limits of tax-free Health Savings Accounts, and it keeps the ACA requirement for insurance policies to cover maternity care and contraception, and cancer screening. Those with pre-existing conditions are covered and parents can still keep their adult children on their plans until age 26. Finally, this legislation reduces the federal deficit by $337 billion by reducing spending by $1.2 trillion and providing nearly $900 billion in tax relief, including for middle-income Americans and small business owners.
This reconciliation bill is a step in the right direction. There will be more changes by way of executive action and further legislation that cannot be enacted as part of the AHCA because of arcane Senate rules. I am supporting this legislation that, when combined with the other actions we will take, provides a meaningful positive difference for American families. There are those who say this bill doesn’t do 100 percent of what they want it to do; I believe 85 percent of something in the right direction is much better than nothing.