by Jeremy Morrison
Northwest Florida congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz, (R-FL) has released a statement in the wake of the U.S. House of Representatives May 4 repeal of the Affordable Care Act, in which he said “the long nightmare of Obamacare is ending.”
In the statement, Gaetz said he was “proud” to have voted for the House’s replacement healthcare bill, The American Health Care Act. That measure passed by a 217-213 party-line vote, save the 20 Republicans that voted against the bill.
“Obamacare is heading off a cliff. If we did nothing, disaster would have been imminent,” Gaetz said in the statement. “I voted for The American Health Care Act because I do not want to see hard-working Americans unable to afford coverage. I do not want our elderly and our sick to struggle under the burden of unaffordable, low-quality coverage. I do not want to crush our small businesses — the engine of American economic growth. What I want is freedom: freedom for individuals to pick the policies they want, freedom for states to operate with flexibility, and freedom of choice — because when people can choose between many different insurance providers, costs will be lower and quality will be higher. Under The American Health Care Act, insurance coverage will be better and less expensive — not just for the young and healthy, but for the elderly, and for people with pre-existing conditions as well.”
While House Republicans are claiming a victory with the healthcare bill’s passage, the measure isn’t likely to fair well in the Senate, where the Republican majority can afford far fewer defectors.
And while Gaetz is claiming that this new healthcare bill is “a step forward for all Americans,” critics are charging the bill will deprive people of insurance and make deep cuts into federal programs, like Medicaid.
“The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), said in a statement following the House vote. “This bill would throw 24 million Americans off of health insurance – including thousands of Vermonters – cut Medicaid by $880 billion, defund Planned Parenthood and substantially increase premiums on older Americans. Meanwhile, it would provide a $300 billion tax break to the top 2 percent and hundreds of billions more to the big drug and insurance companies that are ripping off the American people.”