Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) voted in favor of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House of Representatives 217-213. The AHCA is one of three phases to fully repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“Since joining Congress, I have consistently visited all 19 counties of the 18th district discussing many issues, including challenges facing our current healthcare system. Whether they are small business owners, farmers, or many hard-working families, the people of central and west central Illinois are looking for relief from the skyrocketing premiums and rising deductibles caused by Obamacare,” stated Congressman LaHood. “The American Health Care Act is not a perfect bill, but is a positive step in the right direction and will promote more competition to lower costs. The bill will also continue to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, allow young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, repeal taxes levied by Obamacare like those on prescriptions and medical devices, enhance flexibility through Health Savings Accounts, and put Medicaid on a long-term sustainable path. All of this was done through the regular legislative process, with the bill text online for Americans to read and understand. The American Healthcare Act fulfills the promise to rescue Americans from the impending collapse of Obamacare and supports patient-centered reforms that will provide access to quality, affordable care.”

Regarding coverage for pre-existing conditions:
“Throughout the debate on replacing the Affordable Care Act, I have continued to stand up against discrimination of individuals with pre-existing conditions and have been a proud co-sponsor of H.R.1121, a bill which does just that,” said LaHood. “I understand there have been concerns regarding this version of the bill, but coverage for pre-existing conditions and other Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) remain guaranteed. This bill will provide a $138 billion in stability funding for states to help support individuals in high risk pools should their state be granted a waiver. It also includes an amendment providing $8 billion specifically to reduce premiums and other costs for those with preexisting conditions, adding even more protections to this bill to ensure that they are protected.”

Moving forward:
The American Health Care Act was introduced on March 6 before being debated and amended by four House committees—the House Ways & Means Committee, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the House Budget Committee, and the House Rules Committee. It then proceeded to the House floor for further debate and a vote.

The AHCA passed the House on May 4 and will now proceed to the Senate, where further debate will continue.