Collins pleased to see House vote to end ‘Obamacare nightmare’

Staff Reports Posted 4 May 2017 at 2:56 pm

Gillibrand says Republican healthcare proposal is ‘atrocious’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-Clarence) today voted to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with the American Health Care Act, which Collins said will improve access, reduce costs, and provide Americans with the health care system they deserve.

The vote, 217-213, keeps alive President Trump’s push replace a healthcare law passed by President Obama. The new legislation faces uncertainty in the Senate.

“This puts us even closer to ending the Obamacare nightmare that has plagued Americans for the last seven years,” said Congressman Collins. “The legislation passed today increases competition and gives people the power to make their own choices with their own health care. The American Health Care Act is a drastic improvement over the failing health care system Obamacare has left us with.”

For Western New Yorkers, Collins said the bill also includes the largest property tax reduction ever to be enacted. The legislation includes an amendment Congressman Collins introduced that would bar federal reimbursements for New York State Medicaid funds raised from local governments.

“My commonsense proposal will fix the finances of counties across New York for decades to come and most importantly keep money in the pockets of hardworking Western New Yorkers,” said Congressman Collins. “This puts a stop to this massive unfunded mandate coming out of Albany once and for all.”

For residents in New York’s 27th Congressional District, it would result in more than $470 million in property tax savings. The proposal would only apply to the $2.3 billion being raised from counties outside of New York City to pay for the state’s Medicaid share. New York State currently raises $7 billion from its local governments to fund its $27 billion Medicaid liability, which is the largest such mandate in the nation.

The American Health Care Act would also improve access and affordability, and remove more than $800 billion in onerous taxes and fees that have been stifling the economy and eliminating job growth, Collins said.

Collins said the current health care system has been a failure. In 2017, 33 percent of counties nationwide only have one insurer on their exchange, and many counties are being left without any insurance providers, he said.

He also noted that Obamacare has unsustainably raised insurance premiums by nearly 40 percent in the last three years. Recently, thousands of New Yorkers experienced the pain of Obamacare when they were kicked off their insurance plans because their provider, Health Republic, collapsed.

Collins said the American Health Care Act includes the following:

• Eliminates the individual and employer mandate, which forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into government mandated plans that did not work for their needs.

• Guarantees protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, banning insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and preventing insurers from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. Additionally, New York state law fully protects individuals with pre-existing conditions.

• Modernizes and strengthens Medicaid by implementing a “per capita allotment” which provides more flexibility for states and results in the largest entitlement reform in decades.

• Provides Americans access to affordable care that works for their needs by delivering monthly tax credits of $2,000-$14,000 a year, which individuals and families can use to purchase private insurance of their choice.

Gillibrand responds to vote, calling it ‘atrocious’

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, issued this statement on the House vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act:

“The Trump health care bill that passed today on a party-line vote is atrocious and must be defeated in the Senate. Health care shouldn’t be about politics – it is about people – and this bill would harm people,” she said. “The only beneficiaries of this bill are big insurance companies and the wealthiest among us, with the price tag being paid by everyone else through higher premiums, less coverage, and millions of vulnerable Americans losing their insurance.”

Gillibrand said the Affordable Care Act would be harmful:

• Older Americans will be forced to pay more for their health care through an age tax that lets insurance companies charge those aged 50-64 higher premiums, she said.

• Up to 24 million Americans with insurance today could lose that coverage.

• Individuals with pre-existing conditions could lose their protections against premium discrimination granted under Obamacare.

“Obamacare isn’t perfect,” Gillibrand said. “Health insurance is still too costly for most Americans, and Congress should fix that. There are two ways to do that. Subsidize insurance companies further with taxpayer dollars or create a not-for-profit public option that cuts insurance companies and their profits out of the equation to lower premiums, drug prices, and out-of-pocket costs for everyone. I believe we should fight for that public option – but until then, I will work as hard as I can to defeat this misguided and purely political effort that will hurt New York families.”

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