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Every Illinois GOP Rep Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act

By Stephen Gossett in News on May 4, 2017 8:34PM

Getty Images / Photo: Mark Wilson

The House of Representatives voted by a just a tiny four-vote margin, 217-213, to advance their hyper-controversial plan to tear apart the Affordable Care Act. Among those in that slightest of majorities were each of the seven Republican representatives from Illinois. All Democratic congresspeople from Illinois voted against Trump and Ryan's revamped health care bill.

Several Republican lawmakers had remained defiantly mum in the run-up to the vote, right up until the votes were cast. Reps. Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and Adam Kinzinger all had all been publicly "undecided" and/or noncommittal prior to Thursday afternoon.

Their decision to side with Trump on the health care bill is significant. The bill that advanced is deeply unpopular on the left and among many in the center and center-left—which has resulted in waves of protest against Roskam, Hultgren and Kinzinger from constituents at town halls. Roskam's seat in particular is potentially made more vulnerable by his controversial vote: his suburban Chicago district, which Hillary Clinton carried last year, is far from deep red.

He's probably gonna have this song stuck in his head for the foreseeable future. Take it away, Dems:

Hultgren in a statement vowed that people with pre-existing conditions are "protected," but he said the existing state of affairs needed changing. “Maintaining the status quo under a failing law is simply unacceptable," Hultgren said. "I have had great concerns about this bill, and expressed those to Speaker Ryan and House leadership. But doing nothing isn't an option, which I why I supported this amended bill as an important next step in the longer process of broader health reform that will benefit Illinois."

All 11 Democratic reps meanwhile voted no—or in the case of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, "HELL NO."

Schakowsky slammed the vote in a statement:

“House Republicans have done it. They have voted in favor of a horrible bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have opposed the will of the American people, they have ignored the warnings of doctors, nurses, and patient groups, and they have told their constituents that they care more about toeing the party line than protecting the health care of millions of Americans."

As did Rep. Luis GutiƩrrez, who compared the vote to historical blunders and acts of aggression:

"Watching Republicans celebrate as they stripped health care coverage from millions of Americans was angering. Taking political retribution against Obama is one thing, but what Republicans are doing is snatching health care coverage from sick people, families and the elderly to make a political point.

Attacking Pearl Harbor, firing on Fort Sumter and invading Iraq looked like good ideas to the perpetrators at the time. But in the end, they were huge blunders that harmed America and came back to haunt those who to took those actions. That is how I see this health care vote for Republicans. Republicans kicked a hornets’ nest and it is not too soon to begin saying goodbye to some of my Republican colleagues from moderate Districts, because this will cost them dearly."

The bill now moves to the Senate, where an up vote still appears far away, at least with the bill as is. Illinois Senators will clearly do Republicans no favors in getting it passed.

Senator Tammy Duckworth said, "It’s disgraceful that Republicans in Congress just passed a bill that would kick tens of millions of Americans off of their health insurance and force many more to pay higher out-of-pocket costs. What’s stunning is that Republicans also included a provision that would raise taxes on as many as 8 million Veterans and make it harder for them to afford their healthcare."

Back closer to home, Gov. Bruce Rauner was ambivalent at best. The state's top exec had been critical of past iterations of the bill—specifically how it would fund Medicaid expansions—and he expressed the same misgivings on Thursday.

Rauner said in full in a statement:

“The bill that passed in the U.S. House today continues to be of deep concern to our administration. Recent changes did not address fundamental concerns about the bill's impact on the 650,000 individuals that are part of our Medicaid expansion population, nor have those changes eased the concerns of the 350,000 people in the individual market who are dealing with skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices. We will continue to voice our concerns as the law moves to the Senate.

The Affordable Care Act is a seriously flawed law that should be changed. Difficult as the task has proven, we are hopeful that our federal lawmakers will continue to work hard to get this right for the people of Illinois and our nation.”

Rahm Emanuel stressed the importance of insuring those with preexisting conditions and said the bill, as is, will likely not get out of the Senate.

You can check out a good dive into the specifics of the new bill here. The bill allows states to waive three key provisions of the Affordable Care Act: the "essential health benefits;" the community rating that does the heavy lifting in keeping down costs for those with pre-existing conditions; and the age rating provision, intended to manage premium costs among older people. To woo over moderates, the new edition of the Trump/Ryan package also reportedly includes some $8 billion to help fund people with preexisting conditions—although that figure comes "nowhere close" to meeting commitments, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Something tells us that Roskam, Hultgren and Kinzinger will be reminded of that fact once or twice.