Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today voted against the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. He released the following statement in response to the Republicans’ passage of the bill:
“Last month, when House Republicans failed to pass the first iteration of Trumpcare, I’d hoped that the embarrassment of that failure would mark a turning point. Following such resounding opposition from the American people, one would think that the Republican Majority might end its senseless crusade against the Affordable Care Act and, at long last, work with Democrats to improve the ACA and build on its progress.
“Sadly, that was not the case.
“Today, House Republicans successfully voted to strip health care away from millions of Americans, raise costs for working families and seniors, and put insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions – contrary to everything the President said he would do.
“The version of Trumpcare that passed today is, shockingly, even worse than its predecessor: it guts protections for those with preexisting conditions, allowing insurers to once again discriminate against people based on their health status. It lets states eliminate essential health benefits, resulting in paltry plans that cover very little. And it gives insurers free rein to levy an unlimited ‘age tax’ on older Americans.
“In a pathetic attempt to placate worried constituents, Republicans added $8 billion to their plan at the last minute to help cover those with pre-existing conditions. But estimates suggest that this eleventh-hour addition constitutes a mere fraction of what’s needed. No matter what the Republicans say, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are still left without the protections they need under Trumpcare. This change is too little, too late.
“Now, there are no illusions regarding the GOP’s answer to the Affordable Care Act, which they criticized and voted to repeal repeatedly for seven years. Their plan is simple: pay more and get less. Not an appealing alternative.
“How anyone can claim to be a ‘compassionate conservative’ while actively working to take health care away from another human being – and for a political end, no less – is beyond me. I am deeply saddened by House Republicans’ actions today.”