Today I voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill passed in the U.S. House by a margin of 217 to 213. Six weeks ago I decided the original bill was better than allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight. Since then I have been pleased to work with conservative colleagues to improve the AHCA to enable Americans to have more choices at lower costs.
Obamacare has devastated the individual health insurance market. In Oklahoma, premium increases averaged over 70 percent this year, and we have only one provider on the exchange.
The amended bill immediately eliminates Obamacare taxes, protects individuals with pre-existing conditions, lowers costs, and reforms Medicaid to give states more flexibility. Although this is not a full repeal of Obamacare, it does allow the states to undo the most costly aspects of Obamacare that are hurting American families.
Most important to me, this bill prohibits funds from going to the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and redirects federal funding to Community Health Centers. This provision alone merits support even though the bill falls short of all that conservatives wanted to accomplish.