How area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending May 5.
WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending May 5:
Republican health-care alternative: By a vote of 217 for and 213 against, the House on May 4 passed a Republican bill (HR 1628) that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on terms that would allow states to waive most ACA coverage requirements, including ones concerning pre-existing conditions, while adding 24 million uninsured Americans by 2026; cutting taxes for well-off individuals and health-related companies by at least $600 billion over 10 years; gradually slashing Medicaid outlays by 25 percent; ending Medicaid’s status as an open-ended entitlement program; defunding Planned Parenthood and reducing federal deficits by $30 billion per year. In addition, the proposed American Health Care Act would end the individual mandate requiring Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty; phase out the ACA’s expanded Medicaid eligibility in 31 states; add per-person spending caps and the possibility of work requirements to Medicaid and exempt qualified states from “essential health benefits” coverage requirements. And it would allow waivers under which insurers could deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions in states that establish federally funded high-risk pools and other programs to help unhealthy individuals obtain and afford coverage. The Republican bill would use tax credits based mainly on age to make premiums affordable in the individual market. By contrast, the ACA relies primarily on premium subsidies to keep policies bought in state and federally run exchanges at affordable levels. The bill mirrors the ACA in requiring members of Congress and their staffs to purchase policies under the same terms that apply to their constituents, but ensures that those on Capitol Hill will receive a full-benefits package even if their home state obtains…