by Pamela Williams
Congress member Fred Upton of Michigan, who until January had been chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main health care legislating committees in Congress, officially came out against the American Health Care Act on Tuesday. Upton made the announcement during a local radio interview, and his office confirmed that he is a “No” vote on the bill. Why did Upton do this?
His official announcement says: We know the senate would never accept this provision. There is some thought about, let’s just send it to the Senate, let them fix it, and send it on to the president. I sat down with a number of Freedom Caucus folks yesterday and they’re not willing to budge, at least at this point. I can tell you there are a number of Republicans who are saying this isn’t going to fly.
We’ve talked about the protection for those with pre-existing illness for last number of years. We’re not going to budge either. How it plays out, I don’t know, but there are not the votes as of this morning to move this vote forward.
Here’s what Upton told Bloomberg last week:
Upton, for example, said his main concern is how those revisions affect coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
“The issue is potential higher costs to those with pre-existing illnesses,” he said. “They’re trying to say that they still maintain access with continuous coverage but the question is what happens on the costs side of the thing.”
Upton had been the co-author of previous Obamacare repeal-and-replace plans. He has also helped author other major health care legislation, including a bill that overhauled Medicare payments to doctors and the 21st Century Cures Act, which sought to speed up drug approvals and medical innovation. Losing him means the latest push toward a repeal bill may be doomed yet again.
This is a disappointment that so many Americans never saw coming when President Trump first took office. He had Americans hopeful about the repeal of Obamacare. I remember watching a video of him with many he had invited to the White House to discuss their problems with Obamacare. He encouraged them to expect better days ahead with a new Trumpcare. He promised to keep the pre-existing conditions clause AS IS, as the one facet of Obamacare that would not change. Now it appears those with pre-existing conditions may have to pay more for their healthcare. I don’t understand any of it, but I know there is sorrow in this Land right now.
President Trump has declared a victory on a spending bill that will fund the government through September. I agree that it is a good thing the government will not shut down, so I understand why he sees this as a victory. However, he proclaimed to a group in the Rose Garden that the US would see increases in defense spending and an end to “painful cuts to our military.” Is this all that matters now to Trump? Does he really think that the typical American puts defense spending ahead of their healthcare and tax cuts? Will the real President Trump please step forward now?
President Trump said: “With this major investment in America’s national defense, a core campaign promise of mine, we are at last reversing years of military cuts and showing our determination and resolve to the entire world — and believe me, the entire world is watching — and we have resolved like never, ever before,” he said.
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