San Diego’s congressional delegation voted along party lines Thursday as the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act narrowly passed the House of Representatives.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, voted for the repeal. San Diego Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas all cast “no” votes.
The bill passed 217-213, with one representative not casting a vote, and now moves on to the Senate.
Issa said House Republicans “made good” on their promise to rescind “Obamacare,” which has been blamed for increasing costs and limiting some care options.
“Let’s stop pretending Obamacare is going to fix itself or that somehow, someday, it’s going to get better,” Issa said in a statement.
“Today’s vote gives a voice to the victims of Obamacare, the millions of Americans who are paying higher premiums, receiving less coverage and for whom the status quo offered no end in sight,” Issa said. “Obamacare is doing real harm to California’s families and struggling businesses, and constituents are counting on me to deliver real relief.”
On the other side, Peters conceded some problems with the current health care system but said he believes those issues could be fixed by Republicans.
“The sad thing, is that we have not heard one real argument on how this bill would make health care more affordable and accessible for families in my district in San Diego or anywhere in the country,” Peters said in remarks on the House floor.
“Now the health care system isn’t perfect, there are problems with some insurance markets that are not providing the choice they should,” he said. “So let’s fix them, but that’s not what we’re doing.”
In a statement, Vargas said the vote was scary for millions of Americans.
“House Republicans voted to take away health care from 24 million people, increase out of pocket costs for families, undermine individuals living with pre-existing conditions, and force seniors to pay more for their health care,” Vargas said.
“In Congress, we should be working to increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans, not turn back the clock on progress,” he said. “If we want to lower costs and make health care accessible for every American, Trumpcare is not the answer.”
Among other things, the bill includes waivers that allow states to bypass certain insurance regulations that Republicans says have driven up costs, and slashes Medicaid programs. The details of the legislation, however, are expected to change once senators get a hold of it.
—City News Service
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