The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial: House GOP repeats Obamacare mistake


Congressional Republicans passed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, despite mixed support from Colorado’s delegation

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., praised the legislation shortly before the 217-213 vote — calling it “a historic day” in his years-long push to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

“I am so excited I can vote for this bill and overturn Obamacare,” Lamborn said. “Obamacare is one of the worst things President Obama ever did. And it’s hurt many Americans.

“And this vote today sets us back on the path of restoring a better health care market for Americans.”

Lamborn’s support came as another Colorado Republican broke ranks on the legislation.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., said he will vote no on the American Health Care Act, citing concerns over coverage of those with pre-existing conditions.

“At this time, I cannot support the ACHA with the MacArthur amendment because I’m concerned that a small percentage of those with preexisting conditions may still not be protected,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Coffman informed House leaders and the Trump administration over the last 72 hours that “additional language was necessary to protect this vulnerable group,” he stated.

He also cited the lack of a Congressional Budget Office report on the proposed health care plan as a contributing factor in his decision.

“This does not take away from the fact that the Affordable Care Act is failing and American families are hurting,” he added.

President Donald Trump expressed confidence in the proposed health care plan Thursday, stating “we’re going to have a wonderful day and a wonderful vote” and that “we’re going to take care of a lot of people” and their health care needs.

The Republican bill cleared an early House hurdle Thursday, and party leaders are pushing the measure toward a climactic final vote they say they will win.

The measure moved forward by 235-192, setting up a roll call on final passage that was expected to be close. A late amendment adding money to help people with serious diseases pay medical costs seemed to win enough support that leaders decided it was time to vote.

Should the measure pass, it’s expected to face major changes in the Senate.

The legislation represents the GOP’s attempt to fulfill their pledge to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. It would ease that statute’s insurance coverage requirements, cut Medicaid and erase taxes the law imposes on higher-earning people and health industry companies.

This is a developing story. Check back with Colorado Politics for more.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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