Reactions to the Affordable Care Act repeal vote

Here’s what some Northern California voices had to say about today’s symbolic, 244-185 House vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

From Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove:

“I should be saying today that the House of Representatives voted for a good bipartisan jobs bill to get Americans back to work … but I can’t. The Republican leadership in Congress would rather waste time on meaningless theater than do something about jobs. Yet again, they scheduled a vote to allow 17 million children with pre-existing conditions to once again be denied coverage and to raise prescription drug costs for more than five million seniors.”

From Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann, Garamendi’s Republican challenger:

“By voting to protect the health care law’s $600 billion tax on American families and small businesses, John Garamendi has proven once again where his priorities lie—and they’re not with the people of California’s new 3rd district. John Garamendi has reaffirmed his support for a law that threatens seniors’ access to care by cutting over $500 billion from Medicare and empowering an unelected and unaccountable board of bureaucrats to make decisions regarding seniors’ health care.

“As small businesses continue to be burdened with new regulations and as health care costs continue to rise, it’s clear that John Garamendi’s health care overhaul isn’t working—and it’s even more obvious that the radical ‘single payer’ Canadian-style government-run system, which John Garamendi is fighting for, is completely out-of-touch with what Californians need. I’ll fight not only to repeal John Garamendi’s healthcare overhaul, but to also implement common sense reforms that increase access to quality care, allow Americans to keep the insurance they like, and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, while lowering costs and ensuring that patients and their doctors, not government bureaucrats, remain in control of their health care decisions.”

Lots more from Bay Area House Democrats, after the jump…

From Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

“Americans have spoken loud and clear about the need for reliable and affordable health care for all and I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010. One of the most conservative Courts in a generation has found the provisions of the health care law constitutional and it is past time to end the obstructionist tactics of the Tea Party. Repealing healthcare reform would have devastating impacts to low-income and middle-class families and this Congress needs to get serious about our nation’s economic recovery and pass a comprehensive jobs bill.”

From Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez:

“Americans are rightly asking House Republicans, where are the jobs? And where is your plan to stop outsourcing? Those should be our priorities. Instead, House Republicans are preoccupied with taking away patient protections from the American people while keeping their own.”

From Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto:

“A vote to repeal the health care law is a vote to deny millions of Americans access to affordable health care coverage. In California’s 14th Congressional District, 36,000 children are no longer denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition; nearly 5,000 young adults up to the age of 26 have been able to stay insured under their parents’ plan; thousands of seniors have received prescription drug discounts worth millions in savings; and over 100,000 adults now have health insurance that covers preventive services without paying any co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles. These numbers cannot be ignored.

“Our country deserves something better than outrageous healthcare costs, bankruptcies caused by a single illness, and a system that allows health insurance companies to run amok with impunity. I’m proud to have voted against repealing the health law today and will continue my efforts to uphold the most successful health insurance reforms in the history of our country.”

From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:

“Today the House took its 31st vote to repeal all or part of health care reform. Health care reform was in response to a national crisis. Businesses and individuals couldn’t afford health care. Hospitals, doctors, and clinics provided billions in uncompensated care and those costs were then passed on to consumers. So, we passed legislation that saves money, saves lives and provides access to quality, affordable health care. Instead of staging these political games and voting to return to this national crisis, we should be strengthening the reforms made to our health care system and focusing on getting people back to work.”

From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:

“Republicans have been in charge of the House of Representatives for 554 days and they have not created a single job for the American people.

“Today, Republicans are attempting to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA for short) for the 31st time in the 112th Congress; wasting further valuable legislative time on a misguided crusade against people’s health care rights instead of focusing on creating jobs for the American people.

“Let me be clear, a vote to repeal the ACA is a vote to strip millions upon millions of Americans of their health care rights.

“Under the ACA, 2.5 million additional young adults, including 1.3 million minorities, now have access to care and increased economic security. Republicans are trying to deny this care and security. Under the ACA, 350 new community health centers are now providing critical health services to more than 50 million Americans in medically underserved areas. Republicans are trying to take away these critical health services away from 50 million hardworking Americans.

“Finally, because of health reform, insurance companies have refunded $1.1 billion back to consumers because of rules preventing price gouging. Republicans are trying to take this money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans and give it back to the most abusive health insurance companies in existence.

“Contrary to what Republicans say, health reform will boost the economy. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, small businesses – including many in my district that are run by 1st and 2nd generation immigrants – were scheduled to pay $2.4 trillion over the next ten years in health care costs.

“The health insurance reforms in the ACA have rescued these business from this back-breaking cost, meaning they can stay in business employing hardworking Americans from coast to coast. We will not go back to the old way; we will not forsake the health and safety of millions upon millions of Americans in the pursuit of partisan politics. In the rabid partisan push to repeal health care reform, the people who will be affected the most by this vote cannot be left behind. This is why I will continue, as I always have, to fight for them and ensure they receive the support they need.

“The single most important thing that Congress can do right now is pass legislation that will create more middle-class, American jobs.

“The Republican leadership is wasting precious time and resources because the only job they’re interested in creating is one for Mitt Romney.

“We should be working every single day to retain and support innovative, growing businesses like those in Silicon Valley.

“That is why I’m working with Representative Steny Hoyer on Democrats’ Make it in America Agenda, which includes my proposal, the Market Based Manufacturing Incentives Act. My focus is where the American people want it: on job creation.

“Tomorrow, I’ll be introducing the Scaling Up Manufacturing Act of 2012 which will help emerging manufacturers keep their operations here at home. This bill would stop offshoring before it ever starts, and bring millions of jobs to our communities when our economy needs them the most.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Gee, what a surprise!

    All the Bay Area brain dead congressional delegation spouting the same crap as always.

  • JohnW

    I love the GOP line about how ObamaCare cuts $500 billion (over 10 years) from Medicare spending (see Kim Vann above). They forget to mention that the Ryan/Romney budget plan does exactly the same thing. The difference is in what they propose to do with that $500 billion: help subsidize coverage for low income uninsured or double down on tax cuts.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Why is Mike Honda’s “reaction” so wordy?

  • Publius

    Memo to Republicans, Democrats and Indepenents:

    Government does not create jobs. Government at best can provide an enviornment for the private sector to create jobs. Public sector jobs that are created must be supported by private sector jobs. Government at it’s worst can and does hinder job creation.

    The words affordable, reliable, and cost reduction should not be used when describing a Government entitlement, if a person uses these words to describe a government program then they are either lying or ignorant.

    Since that disastrous year of 1964 America has continued to expand the size and scope of the federal government and has been perpetually digging a grave of entitlements. Now our only hope to restoring liberty and prosperity is to slowly reverse the negative trend one repeal at a time. The ACA was a non-partisan back door reconciliation hoodwink that was rammed down the throats of Americans. Yesterdays repeal was bi-partisan and deserves a vote in the Senate. Once again I fear the Senate will obstruct true reform.

  • JohnW

    Re: #4

    “Yesterday’s repeal was bi-partisan.”

    Surely you jest. 5 Blue Dogs from conservative districts in NC, OK, UT, ARK trying to protect their jobs makes it bipartisan? Win the WH and Senate this year, and you’ll get your repeal. In the meantime, it’s all just posturing.