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Democrats react to GOP health care vote

Washington Democrats didn’t have the kindest words for Republicans after they pushed the health care bill that would repeal Obamacare through the House Thursday.

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Governor Jay Inslee was especially upset.

“Today is a shameful day in American history,” Inslee said. “Republicans in Congress have voted to strip health care coverage from over 700,000 Washingtonians and to remove the guarantee that all Americans cannot be denied coverage or charged more because they have a pre-existing condition.

“Their actions today threaten the health and financial security of millions of American families and undermine our health insurance markets, resulting in likely premium spikes. We have made great progress in Washington state’s health care system through bipartisan work and support, yet Congress is now threatening to throw it all away in favor of the poorly-conceived partisan legislation. I am proud that eight members of Washington’s House delegation — two Republicans and all six Democrats — voted against this bill for the harm it would do our state.”

The GOP health care bill passed through the House with a 217-213 vote. All voting Democrats and 20 Republicans voted no.

As The Associated Press puts it: “Passage was a product of heavy lobbying by the White House and Republican leaders, plus late revisions that nailed down the final support needed. Leaders rallied rank-and-file lawmakers at a closed-door meeting early Thursday by playing “Eye of the Tiger,” the rousing 1980s song from the “Rocky III” film.”

Democratic Representative Suzan DelBene was in no mood for song.

“House Republicans passed dangerous legislation that would cause 24 million people to lose health care and strip protections for the 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Delbene said.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said health care is too vital to play games with.

“House Republicans passed a health care bill without fully explaining it to the American people, or even understanding its cost and consequences,” Constantine said. “Health care is too vital to be playing political games. King County has made health reform work and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents. The Trump/Ryan plan takes us backward, putting at risk basic health insurance and treatment for people struggling with behavioral health and substance use. We will continue to fight to preserve what works in health reform, and beat back attempts to turn back the clock.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the city will continue to support health care for all and women’s reproductive rights.

“Today’s actions by the Trump administration and House Republicans are
a devastating blow to millions of Americans who need access to health care, and particularly millions of American women,” he said. “These steps gut policies meant to increase access to affordable health care for all Americans, and tell women that President Trump will make their health care decisions.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that the GOP bill would end coverage for 24 million people over a decade. That office also said the bill’s subsidies would be less generous for many, especially lower-earning and older people not yet 65 and qualifying for Medicare.

The bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. Lawmakers say major changes are likely to happen to the bill.

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