Lawmakers stop in Howell to talk controversial Health Care Bill

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a new proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Today, Flint-area Congressman Dan Kildee and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley made stops in both Howell and Flint to discuss that bill, and if passed, how it could affect Michigan families.

While Republicans say, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is the best thing for the American people, the two Congressmen say the revision is a step in the wrong direction.

“With the distractions of Russia and all those things going on, if that bill is allowed to go through, it will hurt America,” says Crowley.

Crowley and Kildee spoke to retired operating engineers and their loved ones about economic security and healthcare for Michigan families this morning.

Kildee says, if the health care bill proposed by Senate Republican leaders last week moves forward, it would leave millions without health coverage. And one of his biggest concerns is what would happen to those who rely on access to Medicaid.

“That could mean the loss of healthcare for people in cities, in rural areas, actually could mean the loss and closing of rural hospitals, so there are a few areas that we need to focus our attention,” says Kildee.

However, Republicans who back the plan say the Affordable Care Act has failed the American people. And the changes they are making will lower the cost of health care for many.

But as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Crowley believes otherwise.

“We know that people between the ages of 50 and 64 would see a remarkable increase in the cost of their health insurance, five times more than what they’re paying right now and that is just not acceptable,” says Crowley.

Kildee says, though this speaking event isn’t in his congressional district, it’s part of his responsibility to help grow the state of Michigan as a whole.

He says health care is still a work in progress and something that needs to be worked on together.

“My hope is that Democrats and Republicans can come together and deal with some of the problems that we do see in healthcare, make some changes to the Affordable Care Act so that we make sure that those areas that aren’t working should be addressed,” says Kildee.

While Republican leadership in the Senate is working to get a replacement to the health care plan through Congress, some local members have already pledged their support to the GOP bill.

A few days ago, we caught up with Congressman Tim Walberg who voted for the House version of the Health Care Bill, he says, anything would be better than the problems the country has faced under the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m in favor of the form we put through the House, and that he was fully supportive of. We will see what the senate has in mind. I can’t comment yet on what I think of their proposal. But in the end, what they pass, I believe the house will pass forward to the president; because anything is better than the present health care plan…which is melting down,” says Walberg.

The earliest the bill will be voted on is next week.

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