by Max Brantley
It was pure theater, but the U.S. House today voted again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Lame duck DINO Mike Ross, whose poor 4th District would reap enormous benefits from expansion of health care coverage, was one of five Democrats who voted against expanding health insurance coverage for Americans.
It goes without saying that Reps. Griffin, Crawford and Womack voted to deny better health coverage for their constituents. It is worth noting that Republicans offered no replacement plan, only repeal.
As mentioned earlier, if the Republicans had their way — they won't because the Senate won't pass the bill — it would harm states and hospitals, as well as all the millions of people who've already seen their access to health care expanded by the law.
Maxine Nelson, president of Arkansas Community Organizations, commented on Ross' vote:
"We are saddened, but not surprised that Representative Mike Ross once again voted against working families in his district by supporting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act..
By voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Mike Ross would:
· Take away health insurance from more than 35,000 young adults in Arkansas who are now covered under the law’s provision that allows young adults to remain on a parent’s policy until age 26.
· Increase costs for seniors in Medicare by taking away prescription drug rebates that have already benefited more than 36,000 seniors and by forcing 169,384 more seniors who have already gotten free preventive care in Medicare to pay for their cancer screenings and annual exams.
· Rob state consumers of rebates totaling $7,787,177 that insurance companies will pay for the first time this year for failing to comply with the 80/20 rule. That Obamacare rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of our premium dollars on actual medical care instead of overhead and profit.
· Give back to the insurance companies the power to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, to impose arbitrary caps and limits on coverage and to deny claims for any reason."