Politics

House Republican 'bewildered' by ObamaCare vote

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said Saturday he’s ‘bewildered’ by fellow House Republicans not keeping their promises on health care, following their vote Thursday to replace ObamaCare.  

“They just passed a bill and they’re claiming it’s a repeal, but it’s not a repeal. And they’re going to send it to the Senate knowing it’s going to be changed,” he told Fox News’ “America’s News Headquarters.”

The majority of House Republicans are claiming victory with the passage of the measure, the America Health Care Act. But the bill did not receive full support from House GOP members.

“We’ve basically enshrined the features of ObamaCare,” said Biggs, who was one of 20 House Republicans who voted against it. “This is going to be very difficult to walk back from.”

Biggs thinks that lawmakers will continue to lose people’s trust if they do not follow through on their word of repealing and replacing ObamaCare. This is the second time in the past several weeks that House Republicans have tried to unite behind a new health care bill. 

“We have no idea if we are really going to be reducing premiums by any appreciable amount,” Biggs said.

Although the Congressional Budget Office has yet to release their score for AHCA, this time moderate Republicans were able to get on board.

Rep. Francis Rooney, R- Fla., is an advocate for AHCA and on Saturday told Fox News: “I think it’s the best option we are going to see.”

Other major concerns are whether a final bill will cover people with pre-existing conditions and expand Medicaid so people can pay for the insurance.

“The fact of the matter is AHCA does not deny coverage for pre-existing conditions,” Rooney said.

According to a study by Alavere in the individual market today nearly 2.25 million Americans have pre-existing conditions. People with pre-existing conditions are concerned that under AHCA their health insurance will become unaffordable. AHCA technically does not allow insurers to deny people with pre-existing conditions but does allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health care if the state has set up high-risk insurance pools. 

“I think the fact that the high risk people are taken out of the general ... base should allow premiums to go down for everybody else,” said Rooney.

The bill received zero support from House Democrats who say the AHCA jeopardizes lives by cutting funding for Medicaid and limiting protection for citizens with pre-existing conditions.

The bill now goes to the Senate where massive changes are expected.