Dent, Fitzpatrick Join Dems in Opposing Obamacare Repeal

uscapitol-washingtondc-picture1The House of Representatives took a major step in the crusade to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, today.

Congressman Charlie Dent and Brian Fitzpatrick, however, did not join them.

The two PA Reps were among the nine GOP members of the House to vote against the budget bill (including the repeal in budget legislation allows it to bypass the cloture process in the Senate).

No Democrats voted for it while ten members, five from each party, missed the vote. As a result, the final tally was 227-198.

“Too much of the debate surrounding the ACA has been on buzz words and slogans: repeal, defund, delay, replace, fix, reform,” Congressman Fitzpatrick stated. “What needs to be at the center of any discussion on health policy is the common goal of expanding coverage, improving quality and lowering costs. Any changes or improvements to our current system must ensure both the continuity of coverage and the continuity of patient protection provisions, and should be undertaken in a bipartisan fashion.”

Rep. Dent released the following statement:

“Obamacare is a deeply flawed law that has led to disruptions for many families and individuals’, higher costs through increased co-pays and higher deductibles, and higher taxes for millions of hardworking families.  That is why I opposed the law in 2010 when it was voted on in the House of Representative.  I do believe, however, that Congress must be deliberative and thoughtful about the repeal, replace and reform efforts.

This is why prior to Republicans initiating the Obamacare repeal process, I and others from across the political spectrum, have called on House leaders to fully develop an articulate comprehensive and achievable replacement plan that ably meets the health needs of Americans.

The Republican Conference has a number of outstanding replacement and reform ideas for health care, but I have yet to see a concrete plan that takes these ideas and forges them into a package that will become law.

There is too much talk about tax baselines and arbitrary deadlines as the reason for moving forward with such haste. It is more important to me that we get this done right than that we get this done fast.

Our concern should be focused less on timetable and more on how Congress’ actions will impact the people in our communities and states who desperately need coverage and care – such as those with pre-existing conditions or those suffering from mental health issues or substance  abuse problems.

With this vote initiating the repeal process, I hope that Congress will proceed deliberately when it comes to crafting the actual repeal and replacement package, and Congressional leadership and the President must clearly lay out a plan for the American people.”

The Republican Party is unsure of what exactly to replace the ACA with. Additionally, they’ll need to break the 60-vote cloture threshold in the Senate to pass any legislation setting up a new program. Meanwhile, President-Elect Trump insists that this will all somehow be done near simultaneously.

January 13th, 2017 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 32 Comments

32 thoughts on “Dent, Fitzpatrick Join Dems in Opposing Obamacare Repeal”

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  3. Pete49 says:

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  4. Kathleen03 says:

    Could not bring myself to vote for Fitzpatrick. This guy is a CA transplant with liberal CA values who marched in to office by hanging on to the coattails of his brother.

    No surprise Fitzpatrick aligns with Dent. Two men whose opinion of themselves is higher than that of all their constituents combined.

  5. Diane says:

    Demand trump release his tax returns. We DO care, Kellyanne!

  6. Sal Petrie says:

    Fitz got my vote by default. This is the first example of why. He’s going to find out how fast 2 yrs. go by and will have to beg for my vote at that time!

  7. observationalpapolitico says:

    Dent and Fitzpatrick show their true colors – to be outliers and garner attention for themselves. What these members fail to understand is that the vote did NOT repeal Obamacare, rather set up the frame work of the FY17 budget. This doesn’t change this just allows for a reconciliation on the legislation.

    Fitzpatrick needs to be careful. Following the leadership of Dent is dangerous for his reputation and support not just conservatives but other Rs in his district. Keep this up he’ll have a primary challenger who WILL win. Where the district goes after this…it’s tough to tell.

  8. Joe Pa says:

    Dent and Fitzpatrick are two of the weakest Republicans you will ever meet.

  9. Talkin Dauphin says:

    good to see Brian Fitzpatrick is following the lead of this brother and looking at issues beyond the party lines. that was what distinguished Mike Fitzpatrick. It goes without saying that if every member of Congress was like Charlie Dent, we would live in a better country. But surprised about Ryan Costello not joining them. Meehan, as long as he is looking at Casey seat, he can not take the political chance.

  10. Seneca says:

    So why did Dent and Fitzpatrick do this, all rhetoric aside? Their votes could come back to haunt them if ACA replacement is successful.

    Two possible reasons.

    First, they are always looking over their shoulders election to election. Too many potentially angry Democrats in their districts that could be stirred up to vote them out next election. They worry they may be on borrowed time. The more likely reason.

    Second, they are among that slowly dwindling group of Republicans who have never fully recovered from the shock of the 2008 election aftermath and 8 years of Obama. They remain in Stockhold Syndrome land. Less likely, but still a possible contributing factor.

  11. Chris says:

    If the ACA is repealed, many incumbents will be subject to a major voter backlash for all who voted to do so. For Dent and Fitzpatrick to be in fairly moderate districts, this was very good politics on their part.

  12. Pee Wee says:

    Fitzpatrick is toast.

  13. Pee Wee says:

    This was not a repeal vote.

  14. Common Sense says:

    Fitzpatrick and Dent showed integrity to their values and concern for the people whom they represent. Voting to repeal the ACA without a legitimate alternative in place is political suicide. A blue wave is coming in 2018 if the GOP can’t get their policies together.

  15. Lazarus says:

    Flopatrick. Couldn’t find his way out of a wet bag without brother dearest. One and done.

  16. Pee Wee says:

    Fitzpatrick doesn’t have to worry about a term limit pledge like his brother. He is a one term and out congressman.

  17. Cindy Friel says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, both congressman Dent and Fitzpatrick for doing the right thing in regard to ACA. There is hope.

  18. G says:

    Wasn’t I just saying there was reason to hope Fitz has a backbone? He did the right thing here. Good start congressman.

  19. Phil Hughes says:

    Kudos to both Congressmen Dent and Fitzpatrick for showing political courage and practicing principle-based leadership rather than going along with Republican talking points.

  20. Becky says:

    Thank you Dent and Fitzpatrick. As an Obamacare enrollee I was concerned that a repeal would happen after Trump got elected. Recent reports demonstrate that Pennsylvania has one of the highest percent of Obamacare enrollees and that an outright repeal with no replacement would be devastating leaving many uninsured. You took a stand that our senators were to partisan to take.

  21. Tom Moran says:

    Massive respect for Brian for looking beyond petty party politics. His vision of working together to do what’s best for America is what the people really want. In eight years of challenging the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have yet to come up with a viable alternative, because the ACA was the original Republican plan. Our national healthcare system is broken. It needs to be fixed. It will only be fixed correctly when both parties recognize the importance of looking out for the American people first. Congrats to a courageous Congressman Brian.

  22. Tom Moran says:

    All the talk about party politics is what has caused the DC mess. Our healthcare system needs drastic reform & it is brave leaders like Brian who will get us out of this mess.

  23. Unsanctioned R says:

    Among the many repeated lines leading to ACA was: “30 million uninsured.” Today there are 10 million (3% of us population). About 10 million have chosen insurance vs. the tax, and about another 10 million have enrolled in Medicaid to avoid the tax. About 2/3 of the new Medicaid enrollees were eligible for Medicaid prior to ACA. Given the price tags, these results are pretty sad.

  24. Time to wake up says:

    Saint,

    Not for nothing, but y’all could start by presenting a coherent healthcare plan. You’ve had 8 years to come up with one and it sort of looks like you have ten different versions still floating around.

    Take it for what it’s worth, but after 8 years, the fact that you don’t already have the new plan on the president’s desk for a signature suggests you don’t have a clue.

    Forget about why the democrats lose elections. This is why you lose elections – more concerned about beating the repeal drum and not at all worried about maintaining insurance continuity for 20 million people. Those 20 million, if not today, in the near future will be the cause of blue Texas and blue Florida.

    The GOP knows it’s shooting itself in the foot. It knows that yapping “repeal” is easy but putting together any healthcare system is a massive undertaking. Yet it just can’t help itself. Repeal and forget.

  25. Prospective Saint says:

    Disappointing that the republicans still cannot get unified are we in for another two years of grid lock…. We have a. Guarantee of two years of House and senate majority…. Going to throw this away??? So that in 2018 election if we lose the senate, we are back to “hands tied” again? Get off your duffs you RINOs and unify with the house….. Or lose your seats as conservatives are tired of holding their noses and voting for pseudo republicans!

  26. R. Boysen says:

    I am very disappointed by Brian’s vote on this! Many of us have worked very hard for the past 8 years to repeal/replace this piece of garbage known as “Obamacare” and when the “rubber met the road”, our Congressman chose to punt! One way or another, the ACA will be repealed and it will be replaced! I hope our Congressman is on the right side of the vote when it happens!

  27. rsklaroff says:

    problematic harbinger, reminiscent of Mike….

  28. Pee Wee says:

    Looks like this would be the way Steve Santarsiero would have voted.

  29. Observer 2 says:

    @John,

    They don’t need to propose anything. They are merely expecting Congress to do its job and not make knee-jerk decisions that could end up doing a lot of damage.

    Even if you don’t agree with the ACA, it’s still not prudent to push ahead without having all the details worked out. The responsibility to propose a new plan does not fall on the folks that say wait a minute. It falls on the folks who want to get rid of the old plan.

  30. kola says:

    GOP are nutjobs. Trump no longer cares about his campaign promises, so why should Congress? They are being stupid to try to repeal ACA without a solid plan to replace it.
    My proposal: One bill that says we repeal Obamacare and 1 second later Trumpcare goes into effect with the same terms and conditions as the law we just repealed.
    Yes, that is a flimflam, but that’s what Trump is best known for, besides grabbing P-ssy.

  31. John says:

    What the Republican Congressmen, Dent and Fitzpatrick, need to do is offer what they propose. Just what do they propose?

  32. Same Old Same Old says:

    Right thing to do and good politics too.

Comments are closed.