While the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House, the PA GOP delegation split their votes on the bill. No state had more Republicans vote no on the bill than Pennsylvania.
Congressmen Ryan Costello (R-Chester), Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) voted against the AHCA. Congressmen Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne), Mike Kelly (R-Butler), Tom Marino (R-Lycoming), Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny), Scott Perry (R-York), Keith Rothfus (R-Allegheny), Bill Shuster (R-Bedford), Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), and Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) all voted for the bill.
Fitzpatrick voiced concerns over the opioid epidemic and other concerns with the legislation.
“Throughout this debate, I’ve made clear my concerns about the proposed legislation – including its impact on our response to the opioid epidemic crushing our community, something I’ve made a primary focus in Congress. Despite some positive portions, I could not support this bill with these issues unresolved,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
Kelly stuck to the Republican message about the bill after the vote.
“The American Health Care Act represents the beginning of a better health care system that is patient-centered, choice-filled, and cost-lowering. With this bill, and future action taken by Congress and the Trump administration, American families and workers will be guaranteed access to affordable, high-quality health insurance in a competitive market based on freedom and flexibility,” Kelly said in a statement.
All Congressional Democrats, including the five from Pennsylvania, voted no on the AHCA.
Ahead of the vote, Governor Tom Wolf, who pushed for Congress to vote against the bill, sent out a tweet thanking the Pennsylvania Democrats who would vote against the bill, and the Republicans who had publicly said they would vote against the bill.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) May 4, 2017
After the vote, Wolf reiterated his stance against the bill.
“I thank the Republicans and Democrats who voted ‘no’ today. We can only hope that the United States Senate cares more about the people they were elected to serve,” Wolf said.
Democratic Senator Bob Casey immediately condemned the bill’s passage, and vowed to fight against it in the Senate.
“Republicans in the House of Representatives just delivered an economic punch to the gut of middle class families in Pennsylvania. What passed today isn’t a health care bill, but a scheme to cut taxes for millionaires and big corporations, a giveaway for special interests, and forces middle class families in Pennsylvania to pay more for their health care,” Casey said in a statement.
“Now that this legislation is coming to the Senate, I am redoubling my effort to fight like hell on behalf of families, seniors and individuals with disabilities who will be immeasurably harmed by it,” Casey continued.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party went on the offensive against the bill ahead of the vote.
“Pennsylvanians simply cannot afford to continue down the road of repealing the ACA, and any congressperson who votes for this disastrous piece of legislation should be ashamed,” Pa. Dems Chairman Marcel L. Groen said in a statement.