Friday, September 12, 2014

25 House Dems Join GOP in Latest Effort to Chip Away at Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, the House voted on the latest effort to chip away at the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would allow people to keep their insurance plans under even if the coverage doesn't meet the requirements specified under the Affordable Care Act.

Here is the response from the Democratic leadership:
This bill would give insurance companies the option to continue offering all group-market plans that were in effect as of January 1, 2013, through 2018 outside of exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill is not limited to current enrollees, but opens up access to non-ACA compliant plans to all groups and individuals. Employers who offer these plans would be deemed to meet the minimum coverage requirement set by the Affordable Care Act – allowing employers who are currently offering coverage that meets ACA standards to offer far less comprehensive, substandard coverage and take away the consumer protections employees currently have under the ACA.
Further, because plans sold prior to 2014 did not need to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, enrollees in those plans remain vulnerable to limited coverage policies and abusive insurance company practices. Insurance companies would be able to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, restore annual caps on the amount of care you can receive, and force women to pay more than men for the same coverage.
The bill passed 247 to 167. 25 Democrats joined 222 Republicans in supporting it.

Here are those 25 Democrats:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)
Anne Kuster (NH-02)
Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Gary Peters (MI-09)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Bradley Schneider (IL-10)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

The Affordable Care Act has many flaws, but they can be best eliminated by reforms that make the health care system more progressive and more universal, reforms which guarantee affordability without sacrificing quality or comprehensiveness of coverage. This is what Democrats should be talking about when they say they want to "fix" the law. Not bills like this.

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