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COVERAGE ROUNDUP: A Year Later, Americans Remember House Republican Vote to Repeal Our Health Care

By May 4, 2018No Comments

Associated Press: A Year After ‘Obamacare’ Vote, Democrats See Election Cudgel. “The Democratic charge on health care represents a turnaround from recent elections… [and] the failed GOP repeal effort helped turn the tables. A Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll last month showed people trust Democrats over Republicans for handling health care by 18 percentage points. A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll in February showed Obama’s law with a favorable rating from 54 percent of Americans, its highest score in more than 80 Kaiser surveys since the statute’s enactment. Marking the vote’s anniversary, progressive groups planned more than a dozen rallies Friday from California to Virginia. The liberal Save My Care was airing a 30-second television ad in Washington, D.C., showing top Republicans celebrating the House vote with Trump in the White House Rose Garden. ‘We won’t forget’ appears on a black screen after newscasters intone the bill’s impact, including letting insurers charge higher prices for people with pre-existing medical conditions.” [AP, 5/4]

Bakersfield Californian: A Year Later, Congress’ Attack On Healthcare Consumers Continues. “One year ago, May 4, 2017, is a day that should live in infamy for 14 California Representatives, including Bakersfield’s congressman Kevin McCarthy, who led the effort to shred healthcare protections for their constituents. While key parts of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other federal programs ultimately survived, it was only by a margin of a single vote in the U.S. Senate. We should never forget that these irresponsible Representatives voted for the so-called American Health Care Act and against their own constituents and that they continue attempts to undermine our health system… On this anniversary, Californians cannot forget the decisions made by their Congressmembers, or the continued attempts and administrative attacks on our health care. We must not just remember the past, but work to protect our health care into the future.” [Bakersfield Californian, 5/2]

Washington Examiner: Obamacare Allies Attack Gop To Mark Anniversary Of House Repeal Vote. “Obamacare advocacy groups and allies are trying to remind voters ahead of the November midterm elections about the one-year anniversary of the House’s passage of Obamacare repeal. Groups are planning ads, rallies, and other outreach efforts on Thursday and Friday centered around the May 4 anniversary of the House vote… Protect Our Care is holding a series of 18 to 20 events across 13 states Thursday and Friday…  The actions come as Democrats and Obamacare allies hope to hammer Republicans for their attempts to repeal Obamacare in the midterms. Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse said that exit polls in several special elections that Democrats won showed healthcare as a top issue.” [Washington Examiner, 5/3]

Athens Messenger: Reflections On The American Health Care Act. “One year ago, on May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the so-called ‘American Health Care Act,’ or AHCA. The health care repeal bill would have cut coverage, increased costs, and eliminated protections for tens of thousands of Ohioans. The bill also would have imposed an ‘age tax,’ letting insurers charge people over 50 times more for coverage, and put the health of one in five Americans on Medicaid — including seniors, children and people with disabilities — in jeopardy… As we remember the devastation that we narrowly escaped thanks to the Senate striking down the House’s AHCA, we must recommit ourselves to fighting for our health care, holding our representatives in Congress accountable, and, come November, voting out of office those who put partisan politics and big donors before us, their constituents.” [Athens Messenger, 5/4]

Huffington Post: For The First Time In An Election Cycle Since Obamacare’s Passage, A Majority Of The Public Now Approves Of The Health Care Law. “One year ago, President Donald Trump and House Republicans gathered in the Rose Garden for a victory ceremony. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had just shepherded through a bill repealing major parts of the Affordable Care Act, moving them a step closer to their promise of undoing President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement. ‘We don’t have to talk about this unbelievable victory — wasn’t it unbelievable? So we don’t have to say it again. But it’s going to be an unbelievable victory, actually, when we get it through the Senate,’ Trump boasted, standing in front of beaming House members… ‘We see health care as the defining issue of the 2018 midterms,’ said David Bergstein, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. ‘The Republican health care agenda is incredibly toxic with voters of every political persuasion.’ For the first time in an election cycle since Obamacare’s passage, a majority of the public now approves of the health care law. Democrats now have a sizable advantage over the GOP on the issue, and candidates frequently bring up their support for Obamacare while meeting with voters.” [Huffington Post, 5/4]

Des Moines Register: A Year Later, Republicans’ American Health Care Act Is A Nightmare For Small Businesses. “One year ago this week, a majority of the House of Representatives, including representatives Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King, voted for and passed the so-called ‘American Health Care Act,’ or AHCA, an ACA repeal bill that would have cut coverage, increased costs and eliminated protections for more than 100,000 Iowans. They proved that they are willing to play political games with Iowa’s health care, including thousands of small businesses, farmers, entrepreneurs and the self-employed in their very own districts.” [Des Moines Register, 5/4]

The Hill: Say It With Me: Democrats Are The Party Of Health Care. “From looking at the polling, special election outcomes and national sentiment, the answer should be clear to all of us: Democrats are the party of health care… There has been a sea change for ObamaCare in America. Today, the law is favored by 49 percent of Americans and opposed by 41 percent in the Real Clear Politics average. According to Gallup, 56 percent now believe health care is the government’s responsibility, while only 42 percent think it’s not. A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll even found that 51 percent support single-payer coverage, while 43 percent oppose it… This sentiment takes on special importance because Friday is the one-year anniversary of the Republicans voting to repeal ObamaCare. So when they say ‘MAGA!’ to you, simply reply ‘Health care!’ to them.” [The Hill, 5/3]

East Central Minnesota Sun This Week: “I Will Be Forever Grateful That The Senate Failed To Pass A Bill.” “May 4 is the one-year anniversary of the day the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Jason Lewis, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If this bill would have passed Congress, people we know would have lost their coverage through the repeal of the Medicaid expansion. Many people, especially seniors, would have been faced with the uncertainty of premium increases. I will be forever grateful that the Senate failed to pass a bill later in the summer.” [Sun This Week, 5/3]

New York Times: On Anniversary Of House Obamacare Repeal, Democrats Look To Extract A Price. “All told, the House bill would have increased the number of people without health insurance by 14 million this year and by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimated… Beyond the House repeal bill, Democrats have also developed a broader argument that Republicans have inflicted damage on health insurance markets, partly because of actions taken by the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Just this week, they gained an assist from an unlikely figure: Tom Price, Mr. Trump’s former secretary of health and human services, who said that ending the requirement that most people have coverage, known as the individual mandate, would increase costs for people buying insurance. Helping the Democrats, polls have shown that the Affordable Care Act has gained in popularity since the 2016 elections. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted last month, Democrats had an 18-percentage-point edge when people were asked which party they thought would do a better job dealing with health care.” [NYT, 5/2]

Albany Times Union: Ad Campaign Targets Faso, Stefanik & Tenney. “On the anniversary of Congress’ passage of the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed key parts of the Affordable Care Act, the labor union 1199SEIU is launching a radio and print ad campaign to remind local voters of that three New York representatives who supported that version of the bill. The union, in a statement, said that the goal of the campaign is to remind voters of that efforts to sabotage healthcare and Medicaid are still ‘a very real threat.’” [Times Union, 5/4]

USA Today: Democratic Candidates Running On Health Care After GOP Attempts To Repeal Obamacare. “Friday marks the year anniversary of House Republicans’ vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  It was the first vote of a months-long effort from congressional Republicans to get rid of the law. It ultimately failed in the Senate, but it left many Republicans on record voting to remove millions of Americans from the rolls of the insured — and Democrats are hammering them for it. After years of playing defense on health care, Democratic candidates have made it a top issue this election cycle. They are pledging to fix the flaws in Obamacare while targeting Republican attempts to “sabotage” it and take coverage away. And grassroots organizations that protested Republican efforts are keeping up the pressure with events planned around the anniversary. ‘This is going to be a continuing conversation throughout the election,’ said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. ‘I’m seeing this as an issue in every state.’” [USA Today, 5/2]

New Jersey Globe: New Kim Video Hits MacArthur On Health Care Vote. “Democratic congressional candidate Andy Kim is using the one-year anniversary of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s move to repeal Obamacare to launch a new web video ad that slams the GOP congressman for introducing legislation ‘that tried to take away health care for millions of Americans.’ In ‘Holding MacArthur Accountable,’ Kim points to the birth of his son as the moment he decided to run. ‘Last year, the doctor told me and my wife that our baby boy might not be able to make it. We had to prepare ourselves for the fact that he might have a problem that would affect him for the rest of his life,’ Kim says in the ad. ‘I remember turning to my wife and telling her that if our family gets through this, if our baby is born healthy, that I will do whatever I humanely can to hold Tom MacArthur accountable for what he did. That’s why I’m running for Congress.’” [New Jersey Globe, 5/4]

Roll Call: Liberal Groups Release Polls Showing Health Care Could Hurt GOP Incumbents. “A sizable percentage of voters surveyed said they were less likely to support Republican incumbents who voted for the GOP health care bill. More voters surveyed in the districts also approved of the health care law than disapproved. ‘It has been one year since House Republicans proudly voted for health care repeal, and it is clear that their constituents have neither forgotten nor forgiven them,’ Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Health Care Voter, said in a statement.” [Roll Call, 5/4]