|RICHMOND, Va. – As GOP nominee Ed Gillespie continues to walk back his stated opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill, leadership from the Virginia House Democratic Caucus again called on House Republicans to state whether they support this legislation, which the Washington Post editorial board has dubbed “execrable.”
“This most recent attempt to dismantle the ACA is even more draconian than those that preceded it,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “It would jeopardize coverage for hundreds of thousands of our constituents and put those with pre-existing conditions at serious risk. We call on House Republicans to repudiate this bill and work to improve the ACA rather than kick people off of their coverage. Health care is an issue of economic security, but House Republicans have repeatedly blocked the expansion of affordable coverage for 400,000 Virginians. House Democrats stand in strong opposition to this bill.”
“The Graham-Cassidy bill would defund Planned Parenthood, which House Republicans have repeatedly voted to do at the state level,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “By blocking access to Planned Parenthood, Republicans are blocking women from getting cancer screenings and birth control. We ask Virginia House Republicans whether they support this most recent version of Trumpcare, which would also gut maternity coverage and protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Virginia House Democrats stand in strong support of women as we oppose this bill.”
In January, Virginia House Democrats called on House Republicans to join them in asking Virginia’s congressional delegation to oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act without a viable replacement. Not a single Republican signed on.
In June, House Democrats held a press conference calling on Ed Gillespie and the Virginia House Republican Caucus to explain how they would help the more than half a million Virginians who would have lost their health insurance under the U.S. Senate’s earlier version of Trumpcare. The Republicans failed to provide a substantive answer.
When asked by a constituent whether he supported various iterations of Trumpcare, Delegate Jim LeMunyon refused to take a position and said he didn’t “intend to spend much time on their details.”
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, on the other hand, defended an earlier version of Trumpcare in a May Facebook post. Delegate John O’Bannon also called an earlier version of Trumpcare a “good starting point” but then refused to comment when questioned about his position in July.
O’Bannon, along with at least three other Republicans – Delegates Rich Anderson, Randy Minchew and Bob Marshall – have benefitted from mail dropped on their behalf by Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers-backed group that is working to repeal the ACA.
Although Anderson spoke at a meeting in the group’s Woodbridge office, he denied knowing much about the organization – even saying he had to look them up online.