“We are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system,” said Rep. Tom Reed in a statement about the passage of AHCA in the House of Representatives Thursday. Reed was one of 217 Republicans to vote for the bill. H.R. 1628 is known as the American Health Care Act.
According to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the final tally from the roll call vote was 217 ayes (all Republicans) to 213 noes (including 20 Republican dissenters) with one member of the House not voting.
Reed’s statement says the bill, intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, “upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and the expansion of Medicaid, which help our most vulnerable populations.” Critics of the bill claim that it would strip coverage from many people who have pre-existing health conditions, or allow insurance companies to charge prohibitively higher rates to such people.
“The bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid,” Reed’s statement says.
The Republican congressman has defeated Ithaca-area contenders Nate Shinagawa and Martha Robertson in a district that includes Ithaca and a western swath of the Southern Tier, and beat Western New York challenger John Plumb last fall after endorsing Donald Trump for president a year ago.
A common complaint about the Affordable Care Act was that it forced people to buy healthcare coverage. Reed said today, “We care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions while providing promised tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners.”