Frelinghuysen Votes To Repeal Obamacare

By on May 4, 2017

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

Verona’s congressman, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, joined with 216 fellow Republicans today to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. Twenty Republicans in the House voted against the measure as did all 193 Democrats. The measure, which failed in its first iteration in March, now goes on to the full Senate.

“Obamacare is collapsing across the country and failing to make health care affordable for New Jersey families facing skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and fewer choices,” Frelinghuysen said in a press release touting his decision. This was a common refrain among many pro-repeal Republicans, but its accuracy has been disputed by several fact-checking groups including Factcheck.org.

“The earlier version of the House-proposed American Health Care Act was unacceptable to me,” said Frelinghuysen, who broke ranks with his party on March 24, causing the Republican leadership to pull that bill. “Today, I want to reassure New Jersey families that this legislation protects those with pre-existing conditions and restores essential health benefits. I voted to move this bill to the U.S. Senate, which will have the opportunity to improve this legislation significantly.”

Frelinghuysen’s decision was immediately criticized by both of Verona’s senators and by the New Jersey Policy Perspective, an advocacy group, which has estimated that the Republican bill could raise costs and lower coverage for many New Jersey residents.
“Today Congressmen Frelinghuysen and MacArthur put their political party ahead of the health care of tens of thousands of their own constituents by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a wholly inadequate substitute that will eviscerate Medicaid, drive up insurance premiums and gut consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said NJPP Health Policy Director Ray Castro. “Thankfully, they were the lone New Jersey Representatives to do so, with the other 10 members – including fellow Republican Congressmen Lance, LoBiondo and Smith – rightly seeing this legislation for what it is: An attack on the health, well-being and economic security of hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans.”

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“Despite the doublespeak down in D.C., none of the amendments and last-minute additions – including Rep. MacArthur’s own – made this bill substantively better,” Castro continued. “And they are all built on a faulty foundation of a proposal that strips health care from 24 million Americans, drives up premiums and shifts costs to the states – all in order to deliver massive tax cuts for the wealthiest families.” The NJPP believes that up to 3.3 million New Jerseyans with preexisting conditions would no longer be guaranteed affordable health coverage under the Republican plan, women would likely be charged more than men for insurance, and plans for up to 3.6 million New Jerseyans could once again come with annual and lifetime limits on coverage.

Booker, for his part, vowed to stop the AHCA in the Senate. “This craven bill that Republicans put forward is cruel and unjust for millions of Americans who deserve more from the wealthiest nation on Earth,” he said in a statement.

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“Health care must be a right—it makes moral sense and it makes fiscal sense, and we must hold those accountable who put their party before their country by voting for a bill that will put millions of Americans at risk.”

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