The American Health Care Act just passed the House of Representatives in a close vote on Tuesday.
The bill is the latest iteration of congressional Republicans’ attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
After the vote, members of the Obama Administration, which was responsible for the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, blasted the vote’s outcome.
Sylvia Burwell, who served as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Servies under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017, said in a statement (emphasis ours):
“Today’s House vote is a setback for our nation’s health system. An estimated 24 million Americans would lose coverage. Premiums and out-of-pocket costs would increase, especially for low-income, older, and rural Americans. Millions of Americans would be segregated into high-risk pools and charged more for the misfortune of being sick. This bill does not protect people with pre-existing conditions, and it would block women from accessing basic preventive care. And it does not improve the quality of care. In fact, it takes us backwards on making prescription drugs affordable and addressing the opioid epidemic. The Senate should abandon this harmful, partisan bill and work on constructive, bipartisan improvements to our health system. This is what the American people want and what they deserve.”
Andy Slavitt, the former head of Medicare and Medicaid under the Obama administration, wrote a sequence of tweets, calling this “their easiest round,” and offering up an apology.
Organising for America, Obama’s super PAC, called the 217 representatives who voted for the bill “nothing more than rubber stamps.”
Obama himself, who did tweet about Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his son’s open-heart surgery, did not immediately comment on the vote.
If you are in fear or pain, I want to personally say I’m sorry for not doing enough. But I (and many others) are as energised as hell. 5
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) May 4, 2017
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