Roby among 4 of state’s 7 members of Congress voting to repeal Obamacare

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

Four of Alabama’s seven-member Congressional delegation say they will vote in favor of a GOP health care bill today.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, and Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, announced their support Wednesday.

“I’ve heard from countless constituents negatively impacted by Obamacare,” Roby said in a speech on the House floor. “And in response, I made a promise – the same promise President Trump and every conservative in Congress has made over and over: give us the majority in the House and Senate, give us a Republican in the White House, and we will repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that work.”

Roby acknowledged that no bill is perfect, but she said that passing the ACHA this week is Republicans’ best opportunity to deliver on their promise.

Roby and other lawmakers also met with President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Trump has been lobbying heavily for passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and went so far as to say he would campaign against those members of Congress who do not support the bill.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 Republicans, including Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, planned to vote against the bill. Alabama’s lone Democrat, Rep. Terry Sewell, D-Birmingham, also will vote against it. Reps. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, and Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, are in favor of the legislation. As of last night, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Sakes, had not announced how he would vote.

Rep. Brooks, Alabama’s Republican who is not supporting the Trump-backed legislation, said if the AHCA is approved, it will be the largest entitlement bill ever approved by Republicans.

The American Health Care Act, which was introduced earlier this month, would roll back many of the Obamacare taxes and remove the individual mandate for coverage. Instead, the GOP plan provides Americans with refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance. It also significantly restructures Medicaid.

But it includes some of Obamacare’s most popular pieces, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions and letting children remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, an estimated 24 million fewer Americans would be covered under the bill than under Obamacare by 2026.

The bill also revamps Medicaid funding, and would send the states a fixed amount of money per Medicaid enrollee, known as a per-capita cap. It also allows states to institute a work requirement for Medicaid.