By Miriam Raftery
July 12, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – San Diego’s Republican representatives Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell issue joined the Republican majority in the House of Representatives in voting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act—taking health benefits away from their constituents as well as eliminating the mandate for coverage.
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton sent an email blasting the vote. “If ever anyone was looking for a reason to vote Congressional Republicans out of office in November, this has got to be it.”
The Republican legislators voted to:
· Allow insurance companies to drop coverage for people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, pregnancy, heart disease, or cancer;
· Take away health care coverage for young people under age 26 who are now covered under their parents’ insurance policy;
· Take away $250 rebate checks for those seniors dealing with increased out-of-pocket prescription Medicare costs;
· Allow insurance companies to go back to dropping coverage when patients get sick, a practice that was outlawed by the Affordable Health Care Act
· Take away life saving preventive medical services and tests like mammograms.
Passed by Congress in 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional.
A key objection raised by critics has been the Act’s mandate requiring people to buy healthcare insurance. While the bill provided assistance to low-income individuals, some argued that the income limit for such aid was too low, while others objected to any such mandate. Concerns have also been raised over impacts on businesses; some companies stand to benefit from enactment of the healthcare reforms, while others could pay more.
But even many critics have contended that the Affordable Health Care act should be improved, not repealed, in order to keep in place key protections against insurance company abuses of the past.
Speaking to the NAACP today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew boos when he pledged to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act signed into law by President Barack Obama, calling it "non-essential." Romney has called the mandate to buy healthcare a “tax”, even though when he signed into law a similar mandate as Governor of Massachusetts, he insisted it was not a tax.
San Diego’s Democratic representatives Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted against the repeal, which passed by a 244 to 185 margin. The bill is expected to be blocked by the Senate, which remains under Democratic control.
To learn more about the Affordable Healthcare Act's provisions and how they will affect you, your family and your business as its provisions are phased in over the next couple of years, click here.