Yoho Statement on Supporting Revised AHCA
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL), a supporter of the revised American Health Care Act (AHCA), released the following statement:
“The first time the House brought up AHCA, it was not the right prescription for improving America’s healthcare system. It left too many of Obamacare’s heavy-handed regulations intact. Those regulations, while superficially appealing, in reality are the main drivers of high premiums and the ongoing collapse of the Obamacare exchange system. Allowing states to obtain waivers from the federal mandates governing essential health benefits, age rating, and health status underwriting, while ensuring that the state will protect those with pre-existing conditions, is a prudent and significant first-step towards replacing the ACA in full. That is why I support the improved AHCA.
“The amendment that was added to AHCA, and one I support, will grant states the ability to waive several of the cost-driving requirements of Obamacare that were totally left in place under the original draft of AHCA. Further, the amendment requires states that obtain waivers from the health underwriting regulations to have a program in place that will keep insurance affordable for people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained “continuous coverage” such as a high risk pool. These reforms will reduce premiums and start stabilizing the individual insurance markets while preserving coverage accessibility. I am also an original cosponsor of a measure introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-2) that ensures Members of Congress and congressional staffs are not treated differently than anyone else under the waiver provisions when the AHCA is signed into law. I am happy that conservatives held their ground in asking for additional relief for those suffering under Obamacare as it stands.
“It has always been my priority to vote for legislation that lowers health care costs and provides greater access to quality care for hardworking families. After a lot of discussion and meetings between multiple members, this bill was the best option for us to reach those goals. I understand this bill does not realize my desire for a 100 percent repeal of Obamacare, but it is a large move in the right direction to fix the ACA’s many faults.
“This is not the bill I would have introduced myself, but as a Member of Congress I am prepared to do what is needed to govern. The Framers brilliantly created governing institutions that require consensus on lawmaking, and the amended AHCA is a product of just such a consensus. If we did not pass the AHCA, Obamacare would remain a permanent fixture for all future Americans which cannot be allowed to happen.
“For over 8 years we have heard from the American people that they do not want Obamacare. In my district they have overwhelmingly called for an end to Obamacare. I was sent to Washington by those individuals with that primary goal in mind. This vote is a reflection of that goal--it isn’t mission accomplished by any means--but it’s a good start.
“What I am very pleased about - with the amended AHCA - is that it moves health care policy from a top-down, centrally-planned disaster under Obamacare to a system that embraces federalism and allows for individuals to make decisions more freely. The AHCA ends Obamacare’s penalties for non-compliance with the individual and employer mandates, repeals Obamacare’s taxes, allows states to institute work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients, and expands the allowable size of HSAs for high deductible insurance plans. That being said, I will continue to press House Leadership and the President to finish the job. It is still the spring of 2017--we are just getting started on repealing Obamacare in full.
“The “world’s greatest deliberative body” has been fully aware of our debates and discussions in the House- indeed, Senators and their staff were part of the discussions on this bill- and so they need to seriously engage on this bill as their first priority.
“With this vote, I am voting for a process. We have a responsibility here in the House to move the chains and get the legislative ball in the red zone. This bill is about 80% of a full repeal package, and we need the Senate to finish the job. I urge my colleagues in the other chamber to improve upon the work that we have done in the House. Only with both chambers advancing the cause can we realize the goal of repealing and replacing the government expanding, liberty-destroying Affordable Care Act.”