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Coffman Breaks With Party Ranks With Health Care Vote

DENVER (CBS4) – Rep. Mike Coffman voted against the latest version of the American Health Care Act on Thursday.

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Rep. Mike Coffman takes the stage during the Colorado Republican Election Night party at the DoubleTree Hilton in the Denver Tech Center, Nov. 8, 2016. (credit: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

To explain his break from party ranks, Coffman, a Republican, said the following in a statement:

coffman Coffman Breaks With Party Ranks With Health Care Vote

“At this time, I cannot support the AHCA with the MacArthur amendment because I’m concerned that a small percentage of those with preexisting conditions may still not be protected. This does not take away from the fact that the Affordable Care Act is failing and American families are hurting. In my conversations with House leadership and the Administration over the last 72 hours, I made it clear that additional language was necessary to protect this vulnerable group. And I’m sympathetic to leadership’s challenge — getting 216 votes in this highly polarized political environment isn’t easy. Also, as I have stated in the past, I’m certainly not going to vote on a bill of this magnitude that hasn’t been fully scored by the Congressional Budget Office and whose estimated price tag is unknown.”

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass the American Health Care Act and repeal Obamacare.

RELATED: Repeal Or Spare? Pressure Is On Mike Coffman And Other Moderates Over Health Care

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat, said the House rush to passage of the revised bill will “come back to haunt Republicans.”

“The American Health Care Act was pulled from the House floor in March because the American people realized it was a deeply flawed bill,” DeGette said during floor debate on the newly-amended legislation. “That bill would have ripped health care coverage away from 24 million of our constituents. For those lucky enough to maintain coverage, the bill would have massively raised premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. The crushing age tax of the bill would force older adults to pay astronomically high premiums. So what did the majority do in the last six weeks? They made the bill worse.”

The RNC released this statement on the passage in the House: “Republicans have taken an important first step toward fixing our healthcare system. Obamacare is falling apart and has saddled the American people with rising costs, less choice, and skyrocketing premiums. The time to act is now, and that’s exactly what Republicans have done. President Trump promised voters he would fix our healthcare system; and with the help of House Republicans, the American Healthcare Act sets us on a course to fix what the Democrats broke. Republicans are committed to lowering costs, fostering competition in the marketplace, and giving Americans everywhere access to quality and truly affordable healthcare. Democrats in Washington now have a clear choice: they can continue to fight against the American people to protect Obamacare’s failures, or they work with Republicans to fix it.”

Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican, tweeted out his vote and why:

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican, issued this statement on his “yes” vote: “I have kept my promise to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered plan that reduces government control, lowers costs, and increases the health care choices available to the American people. The AHCA has improved over the last month. The Freedom Caucus has worked with the moderate Tuesday Group to forge a compromise that will lower premiums and increase the flexibility of individual states to manage their health care decisions. Additionally, I personally negotiated with House Leadership to fix an error that locked veterans into the VA health system and prevented them from accessing the benefits of the AHCA. Securing this important victory for our veterans allowed me to support the bill.”

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Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS)

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, released this statement about the bill passing the House: “I am willing to work with anyone to fix and improve our health care system, but today’s bill takes us in exactly the wrong direction. This misguided approach would cause hundreds of thousands of Coloradans to lose their coverage, with those in our rural communities hit the hardest. It would also return us to the days when health insurers could discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. For people who are allowed to keep their coverage, it will reduce benefits and increase costs. I will do everything I can to stop this legislation in the Senate and work in a bipartisan way on real solutions.”

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, issued this statement: “Obamacare is in a state of disarray, and not acting to fix it would have terrible consequences for our state. Coloradans have had their premiums sky rocket, doctors changed, and plans canceled because of Obamacare. Without congressional action, insurance companies have predicted double digit increases on the individual market for plan year 2018, in addition to the double digit increases Coloradans were hit with in the year prior. I look forward to working with my colleagues to complete a measure that leads to more choices, lower costs, and improved care for all Coloradans.”

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