Latest News, WVPA Sharing

Officials weigh in on health care bill defeat


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — Republican leaders underestimated the value people placed on their health plans, a reason why the House of Representatives couldn’t come to a vote on the bill to repair and replace the Affordable Care Act, a Wood County supporter said Friday of the Obama Administration’s signature program.

“Every-day citizens told them they value their health care and did not want it taken away,” said Jeanne Peters of Wood County Indivisible.

A vote on the American Health Care Act, dubbed TrumpCare, which would have repealed much of the Affordable Care Act, dubbed ObamaCare, was anticipated Thursday and Friday, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill after telling President Donald Trump there wasn’t enough votes to pass it. Republican majorities control the House and Senate.

Estimates were the American Health Care Act would have caused 24 million people by 2026 to lose insurance. It would impact about more than 180,000 people in West Virginia.

“Ten years from now, the American people won’t remember if we voted today, next week or next year on a plan to replace ObamaCare. All that will matter is if we kept our promise to lower premiums, improve choice and ensure access to quality health care. We need to get this right,” Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said in a statement after the act was pulled from the House floor.

“It is crucial that we don’t repeat the same mistakes President Obama and Nancy Pelosi made seven years ago when ObamaCare was forced on the American people. Discussions about how best to provide families with access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage remain ongoing,” he said. “It is disappointing that we were unable to pull together today and pass a bill to reverse the spiraling costs and lack of choice under ObamaCare. We need to learn from our mistakes and move forward. We promised to do big things – reform the tax code, fix our crumbling infrastructure, make trade deals fairer – we can’t let this setback complicate our ability to advance our agenda.”

Wood County Indivisible demonstrated Thursday morning at McKinley’s field office on Market Street in Parkersburg. Rallies such as that and others across America, many starting before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who pledged to throw out the Affordable Care Act, got the point across to lawmakers, Peters said.

“That had a tremendous affect,” she said.

While Wood County Indivisible has attempted to organize a meeting or town hall with McKinley, he and Peters spoke Friday morning about health care and the legislation, to which the congressman said he intended to vote for the American Health Care Act, Peters said.

“He was not certain until (Thursday night,)” she said.

Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., who represents some 2nd District counties in the Mid-Ohio in a region stretching across the state to the Eastern Panhandle, said he was “glad I was able to spend time this week speaking with constituents regarding healthcare.

” Since the vote on the bill was rescheduled, I will continue to review different proposals to ensure that West Virginians have access to affordable healthcare,” Mooney said.

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, said he was disappointed the House couldn’t move forward with a vote. He would have voted for the American Health Care Act.

“I voted for this legislation in two committees and would have supported the bill had it come up for a vote today,” Johnson said. “I believe the House missed an historic opportunity to reverse the pain that ObamaCare has inflicted on the American people and prevent the pain that millions of Americans are likely to feel as that onerous law continues to unravel.”

Republican lawmakers underestimated the support for the Affordable Care Act, Peters said. According to polls, while 17 percent favored repeal of the Affordable Care Act, more than half and upward of 56 to 58 percent of citizens did not support repeal, Peters said.

“It was actually quite a shocking number,” she said.

Belinda Biafore, executive director of the West Virginia Democratic Party, called the effort by the president and House Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act a failure.

“When something is bad, it’s just bad,” she said. “It has been clear that the Republicans in the House did not have the support they needed from their team to repeal the ACA and replace it with TrumpCare.”

McKinley and Mooney Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., “threatening the healthcare coverage of nearly 200,000 West Virginians” will not be forgotten,” Biafore said.

“We’re battling an unfathomable opioid epidemic and it’s only getting worse. It is shameful that they are willing to risk the lives of West Virginians for their own political posturing,” Biafore said. “This is serious and the actions of those three do not represent West Virginia values.”

See more from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address