JONES’ STATEMENT ON HEALTH CARE BILL DEVELOPMENTS

Mar 24, 2017 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), a bill that would substitute portions of Obamacare with new federal programs and make a variety of other changes to the American health care system.  Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) has publicly expressed his opposition to the bill for over a week.   This afternoon, the House leadership called off the vote on the bill citing a lack of support.  Congressman Jones released the following statement:

“For over seven years, I have heard from the people of Eastern North Carolina about their trials and frustrations with Obamacare.  It is clear that Obamacare is not working.  That is why I voted against the bill that created it in 2010, and have continuously voted to repeal it,” said Congressman Jones.  “Now in 2017, for reasons I cannot understand, instead of moving a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that will fix our broken health care system, the Washington Republican leadership is trying to jam a bill through the House that does neither.  Furthermore, the rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful.  Seven years ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said of the Obamacare bill: ‘You have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.’ Sadly, the Washington Republican leadership is repeating the same mistakes.”  

“As a result, members and the public are still learning about the consequences of this bill, major portions of which were amended just this morning,” Congressman Jones continued.  “But what they do know about it, they don’t like.  Over the past two and half weeks, over 1,000 Eastern North Carolinians of all political stripes have contacted my office.  Well over 90 percent are opposed to the bill.  I asked for this job to represent the people of Eastern North Carolina, and they have spoken clearly.”

“Furthermore, there are many aspects of the bill that deeply trouble me because of their potential effects on Eastern North Carolina and rural America.  For example, the bill discriminates against as many as 7 million American veterans by making them ineligible to receive tax credits provided in the bill.  It would also result in low-to-middle income seniors paying dramatically higher premiums.  For instance, a 64-year old making $26,500 a year would see their annual premium jump from $1,700 to $14,600.”

“It’s time to scrap this flawed bill and start over.  Go out across the country, gather people’s input, and use an open, public process to thoughtfully craft a bill that delivers the relief the American people need.” 

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at Allison.Tucker@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-3415.

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