WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA 3rd, joined with U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-WA 8th, as two of the 20 GOP members of Congress to oppose the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act that some have dubbed Trumpcare in recognition of President Donald Trump’s advocacy for it.
Herrera said she still doesn’t like the ACA — also known as Obamacare — but was unsatisfied with the proposed replacement, which now faces uphill odds in the skeptical GOP-controlled U.S. Senate.
On Thursday afternoon, Herrera released this statement about her decision.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare with health care solutions that better serve all residents of Southwest Washington.
“Despite working with House leadership, the President and Vice President up until the last minute to improve it, I still didn’t feel that the American Health Care Act does enough to make health care affordable and accessible for all. And while I appreciate House leadership’s willingness to meet me halfway on my amendment to ensure vulnerable children aren’t left behind, the final bill still fell short.
“The difficulties this bill would create for millions of children still need to be addressed. For the last several weeks, I fought to include my amendment to strengthen the Medicaid safety net for the kids who depend on it for their health care. Protecting vulnerable children is a core purpose of the Medicaid program and when the program fails to do so, it fails entirely. I could not vote to let those kids fall through the cracks.
“Southwest Washington residents also deserve a greater commitment to lowering health costs so that out-of-pocket expenses, premiums and taxes are taking up less of their monthly paychecks. Congress should more purposefully move ahead with free market reforms that increase competition between insurance providers and drive down premiums and deductibles.
“I’ll remain fully engaged as Congress moves forward with this effort, and won’t cease working toward solutions that leave Southwest Washington residents with better access to health care than Obamacare has left them.”