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Upton, House Vote to Advance American Health Care Act

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Washington, May 4, 2017 | Lynn Turner/Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in advancing H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act.

“We know that Obamacare is broken. One out of three counties across the country have only one insurance provider and it looks like it will only get worse as others are on the verge of pulling the plug. Nearly two dozen of the non-profit co-ops have gone belly up. Here in Michigan folks saw their premiums increased by nearly 17 percent. Some forecast a 40-to-50 percent rate increase if nothing happens.

“High premiums, lack of access, rising costs. These don’t just impact Republicans or Democrats. They impact us all. The status quo is simply unacceptable.

“Our legislation is a first step in the right direction to ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable healthcare. We expand and enhance Health Savings Accounts. We provide a reasonable transition until 2020 for those on the Medicaid expansion and then grandfather all those folks until they’re off. We help young adults stay on their parents insurance until they’re 26. We provide a monthly tax credit for low and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or government program.

“We also protect those with pre-existing conditions. I told the president directly this week that I would not support this bill as written without a fix. He took the challenge and we walked him through the problems and potential solutions. Covering those with pre-existing conditions is of the utmost importance to me. Our bill already ensures that insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Our amendment further protects people from the financial impact associated with having a pre-existing condition.

“No, this process has not been perfect. I have heard from many on both sides of this debate. I pledge to continue listening and will be a constructive partner in making our healthcare system work better for all Americans.”

Upton also voted in favor of H.R. 2192, which makes a simple technical correction to H.R. 1628 to ensure that the AHCA and its amendments apply equally to everyone. If the AHCA becomes law, members of Congress and congressional staff will be treated the same as any other citizen.

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