Simpson: 37th vote to repeal Obamacare worth the effort

Idaho GOP Congressman Mike Simpson acknowledges the legislative futility of the latest vote by the House Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but says making the statement is still worthwhile.

“While it may sound like a poor use of Congress’ time, I believe it is a reflection of how deeply unpopular the law remains, not just in the House, but across the country and especially in Idaho,” Simpson said in a news release late Thursday after the House’s 37th vote to repeal all or part of the law. Simpson notes that the Democratically-controlled Senate is unlikely to take up the measure.

Here’s Simpson’s release:

House Takes Action on Healthcare Bill

Committee report details significant costs increases due to hit Americans                                                            

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported passage of H.R. 45, which fully repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  He was a cosponsor of this legislation, which passed the House of Representatives 229 to 195.

Today the House voted to repeal the ACA for the first time in the 113th Congress following on the heels of a report compiled by the House Energy and Commerce Committee requesting an updated analysis of the costs of the ACA as estimated by the nation’s 17 largest health insurance companies.

“To be perfectly frank, Idahoans are well aware this is hardly the first time the House has voted to repeal the ACA,” said Congressman Simpson. “In fact, this is the 37th time the House has voted to repeal part or all of the law since it was implemented.  While it may sound like a poor use of Congress’ time, I believe it is a reflection of how deeply unpopular the law remains, not just in the House, but across the country and especially in Idaho.”

Among other things, this study found that Americans’ insurance premiums will increase at enormous rates.  It found that consumers purchasing health insurance on the individual market will likely face premium increases of nearly 100% on average, with some increases of more than 400%.  Small businesses can expect average premium increases for small group plans of about 50%, with potential for a 100% increase in some cases.

“The Obama Administration has finally admitted that there will be premium increases for Americans, but this study found that many people could see their premium double next year when the law is fully implemented.  This is a far cry from what the Administration promised while the law was debated, in fact, they claimed the law would lower costs for families and businesses.” Simpson added, “I thought those claims were dubious at the time, but we now know they are simply untrue- in fact, the opposite is true, the cost of health insurance for most Americans is about to skyrocket.”

The bill will now move to the Senate, where it is unlikely to receive consideration by the Democratic majority.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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