I promised the people of the 36th District of Texas that I would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a workable, affordable solution which lowers premiums while protecting those with preexisting conditions. President Trump was elected on this same platform. With the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House on May 4, 2017, we took an important first step in fulfilling that promise. This was perhaps the most important and consequential non-security domestic policy legislation any of us will ever see.
This bill served as the largest entitlement reform of the Medicaid program in the program's history and eliminated the individual and employer mandate penalties. It also stopped mandatory spending on large abortion businesses, such as Planned Parenthood, for one year.
It isn't the exact bill I would have written, but I am proud to say that I voted “yes” on the AHCA. While Republicans alone provided the votes to pass this bill, it was still the product of finding common ground to provide the American people with relief from Obamacare. Members of our conference from every ideological stripe and every type of district came together to improve the bill and to secure its passage.
While we certainly could have written a more ideal bill that allows for insurance sales across state lines, gives consumers better choices about the plans and benefits they want, and tears down the anti-trust exemption for insurers, the absurd tightrope we must walk to comply with the Senate's reconciliation rules forced us to write this bill with one hand tied behind our back.
Despite its flaws, this bill remained a monumental step forward. Unfortunately, the Senate defeated this bill by a single vote, and the fight to repeal Obamacare continues.