As the U.S. House of Representatives prepared Thursday for a two-week recess, the two Congressmen who directly serve portions of Memphis and Shelby County were on opposite sites of a crucial vote on the health-care legislation backed by President Trump. The bill, the second try by the GOP leadershiip to fulfill Trump’s “repeal and replace” policy toward the Affordable Care Act, passed by the ultra-narrow margin of 217-213.
Democrat Steve Cohen of the 9th District was a No vote:
:“I voted against Trumpcare today because it is harmful to the average American and will result in people dying because they don’t have access to quality, affordable health insurance,” said Congressman
Cohen. “This poorly-thought-out legislation, that has a mere 17% approval rating, allows states to discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions and to opt out of offering essential health benefits such as maternity care, mental health services, pediatric services, preventative care services, drug abuse treatment and physical rehabilitation services.
“Trumpcare will also force lower and middle-income Americans to pay more for less coverage while the wealthiest Americans receive huge tax breaks. As many as 24 million more Americans would be uninsured and those 50-64 years of age would pay significantly higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. It will significantly reduce federal funding for Medicaid, shorten the life of the Medicare Trust Fund and waive annual and lifetime caps now prohibited by the ACA. But without an updated CBO score or time to analyze the flurry of last-minute changes, we don’t yet know the full extent of the catastrophic impacts that this bill could have on our health care system.
“Trumpcare is a wealth care bill, not a health care bill. It puts politics over improving our health care system. This bill is an excuse to give the wealthiest Americans huge tax breaks and proceed towards more tax cuts for the rich in the future. It should be called the ‘Ebenezer Scrooge Act’ because it enriches the wealthiest individuals and harms the less fortunate both fiscally and physically.”
Republican David Kustoff of the 8th District voted Ye
f: “I voted for the American Health Care Act because our current health care system is failing T
ennesseans. We promised the American people we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and today, the House voted to keep our word and provide relief.
“In Tennessee, every single insurance provider has pulled out of the individual market in 16 counties, affecting more than 1.1 million people.
“Health care premiums have gone up by double digits in 31 states just this year with premiums in Tennessee rising an average of 63 percent. In some counties, premiums have risen as much as 116 percent with no ceiling in sight.
“This bill will protect and ensure access to care for those with pre-existing conditions, and moreover, it will make health care more attainable with lower premiums.
“The American Health Care Act is a first step in a three-pronged process that will give the power back to the states and the American people where it belongs.”