In a huge victory for House Republicans, the U.S. House passed a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act Thursday by a 217 to 213 vote.
Twenty Republicans voted no on the bill, as did all of the Democrats. Rep. Mike Coffman -- notably Colorado's only yes on the GOP's failed iteration of the ACA repeal -- was one of those votes.
Republican Reps. Ken Buck, Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn all voted yes.
Colorado congressmen began to release statements about the vote Thursday afternoon. We’ll add them to this story as we get them:
Ed Perlmutter (D-District 7)
“The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has gone from bad to worse. Protecting people with preexisting conditions was at the heart of the ACA and eliminating this protection is eliminating a civil right. Each of us knows someone with a preexisting condition and failing to ensure adequate coverage for our neighbors, friends and family is unacceptable and immoral.
“Under the Republican plan, states will be able to opt out of requiring insurance companies to provide Essential Health Benefits which includes maternity and pediatric services, outpatient care, substance abuse and mental health treatment and prescription drug coverage. This plan puts tens of millions of Americans at risk of losing their health insurance coverage and it discriminates against seniors through higher rates.
“By all accounts, Coloradans will suffer if this bill becomes law. This plan takes us backward and is a bad deal for millions of hardworking families who have come to rely on affordable, quality health insurance.”
Jared Polis (D-District 2)
"Under this Republican plan, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance, rates will increase for the rest of us, and insurance companies will be allowed to price out anyone with a pre-existing condition," Polis said. “This attack on Americans’ health care is devastating. At its core, the GOP's health care plan is a tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of middle-class families, small businesses, and the destitute. With the passage of this bill, it’s clear that Republicans value special interests over people, the wealthy over the middle class, and ideology over economics.”
Republicans passed AHCA without a Congressional Budget Office score. A prior score of the bill indicated disastrous results for Americans, estimating that 24 million people would lose their health insurance under the plan.
The bill will also gut key protections to Americans preexisting conditions, and allow states to remove scrap coverage of essential health benefits.”
Mike Coffman (R-District 6)
“At this time, I cannot support the AHCA wit the MacArthur amendment because I’m concerned that a small percentage of those with preexisting conditions may still not be protected. This does not take away from the fact that the Affordable Care Act is failing and American families are hurting. In my conversations with House leadership and the Administration over the last 72 hours, I made it clear that additional language was necessary to protect this vulnerable group. And I’m sympathetic to leadership’s challenge – getting 216 votes in this highly polarized political environment isn’t easy. Also, as I have stated in the past, I’m certainly not going to vote on a bill of this magnitude that hasn’t been fully scored by the Congressional Budget Office and whose estimated price tag is unknown.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)
“Obamacare is in a state of disarray, and not acting to fix it would have terrible consequences for our state. Coloradans have had their premiums sky rocket, doctors changed, and plans canceled because of Obamacare. Without congressional action, insurance companies have predicted double digit increases on the individual market for plan year 2018, in addition to the double digit increases Coloradans were hit with in the year prior. I look forward to working with my colleagues to complete a measure that leads to more choices, lower costs, and improved care for all Coloradans.”
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)
"I am willing to work with anyone to fix and improve our health care system, but today's bill takes us in exactly the wrong direction. This misguided approach would cause hundreds of thousands of Coloradans to lose their coverage, with those in our rural communities hit the hardest. It would also return us to the days when health insurers could discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. For people who are allowed to keep their coverage, it will reduce benefits and increase costs. I will do everything I can to stop this legislation in the Senate and work in a bipartisan way on real solutions."