A revised plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is now being considered by the House of Representatives, with President Donald Trump pushing for a vote as early as this weekend. While congressional representatives across the country have declared their positions on the legislation, and more than 20 more-moderate Republicans have said they oppose it, Rep. Poliquin still refuses to take a stand on the bill.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, representing Maine’s First District, was quick to let her opposition be known.
“I thought the Republican plan for repealing the Affordable Care Act and dropping 24 million Americans from health coverage couldn’t get any worse. But I was wrong,” said Pingree in a speech from the floor of the House. “The latest iteration of TrumpCare still drops millions from their coverage, but will now make coverage worse and more expensive for those who can get it.”
Poliquin lavished the first version of the AHCA with glowing praise last month, but later backed off that position when its health care effects and political unpopularity became more clear. He avoided taking a position on the final proposal.
Staff at Poliquin’s offices have refused to reveal his position on the new version of the bill to constituents, but have been telling those who call his offices that while he supports maintaining protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions (which the bill allows states to opt out of), the state’s own insurance regulations would protect Mainers regardless of federal law. That’s an argument that seems to pave the way for him to support the bill while claiming that he still supports this popular provision of the ACA.
Health care advocates are asking Mainers to call Poliquin immediately and ask him to oppose the health care repeal.
“The first attempt to repeal the ACA was the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. It’s hard to believe, but members of Congress have managed to make this bill even worse — and they know it, which is why their insurance is exempt from the higher prices and poorer coverage under the new bill,” said Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. “For the past four months, thousands and thousands of Mainers have stood up to protect access to health care and Planned Parenthood. As long as Congress continues to propose ways to cut back on health care, Mainers are going to fight back.”
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