State News

Wisconsin House members vote down party lines on controversial health care bill

All five Wisconsin Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a bill that would repeal and replace large sections of the Affordable Care Act.

Image By: Photo Courtesy of LaDawna Howard

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a controversial health care bill Thursday, with every Democrat, as well as 20 Republicans, voting against it. However, none of those Republicans were from Wisconsin—all five Republican members of the state’s delegation voted for the bill.

The American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace major sections of the Affordable Care Act, passed the House 217-213 and now moves to the Senate. U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., all voted for the bill.

While Democrats and some Republicans harshly criticized the legislation and it is unlikely it will pass the Senate in its current form, Wisconsin Republicans were largely positive about the bill. Duffy called its passage a “huge victory.”

“It was a good day,” Duffy said in a press release. “This a huge step in moving forward for the American people and getting a sane healthcare system that will look out for the American people and families instead of bureaucrats here in Washington.”

Others, like Grothman, focused more on the failures of the Affordable Care Act than on the strengths of the new bill.

“I voted for the new health care bill because the current system is unsustainable,” Grothman said in a release. “Obamacare is a proven disaster … quite simply, Americans deserve better.”

But Wisconsin House Democrats, who all voted against the bill, joined the rest of their party in panning the legislation. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., who represents Madison, said the new “so-called health care plan” is a “disaster.”

“Under Trumpcare, 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance and it will likely remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” Pocan said in a release.

Pocan said if the bill passes the Senate, senior citizens will end up paying “up to 5 times more than others for their health care.”

“On top of that is $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country, insurance companies, and Big Pharma,” Pocan said. “That’s what the Republicans in Congress and President Trump are all about. Those are their priorities. Unfortunately, the American people did not make that list.”

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